If I have learnt one thing from the mess of the last few months it is this: deep down we assume that we are invincible – especially those of us in my generation. We rarely think of death as it is, and even more rarely of our own deaths. If you are like me and do sometimes ponder the end of your life on this planet, you probably imagine it happening when you are an old fogie.
The problem with this is plain and simple; we are not guaranteed to live another minute, let alone another 60 years. We just don’t know! And it is a big deal.
Death is no small thing. It has a huge impact on those of us who are left behind to pick up the pieces and keep on walking, and obviously even bigger ramifications for the person who has died.
My husband’s accident has been my only real experience with death (all of my relatives and friends are thankfully still plodding along), so the logistics surrounding the aftermath of his death have come as quite a shock to me.
I suppose I wish that we were more prepared for it than we were. I know it sounds silly as we were both 22 years old and had only just got married – but that’s just my point! No matter how old you are, being somewhat prepared for death (both spiritually and logistically) is a must.
Here are a few things to think about that you probably never think to think about:
- Private health insurance & life insurance – it’s worth it
- Writing a will – no matter how young you are
- Setting up a Funeral Plan – I got a call a few weeks before Matt’s death from a funeral organisation asking if I wanted to set up a plan with them. I laughed and told them we had just got married a month beforehand and were only 22 . . . “Maybe we’ll think about it in the future, but thank you” . . . lesson learnt.
- Discussing whether you wish to be buried or cremated
- Keeping all of your important documents in one place, including: Birth Certificate, Marriage Certificate, Passport, Bank Account details and records, Tax File Numbers, Group Certificates, Car Rego and Insurance information, Superannuation information etc… – ensure that your spouse/next of kin knows where all this information is!
- Share knowledge about finances and bank accounts – Matt did the loving-husband-thing and decided that he would learn about money, manage the accounts and pay the bills so that “I never had to worry my pretty little face about it” (his words!), which meant that when he died I had no idea about anything!
- When/if you get married, change your name ASAP, obtain your official Marriage Certificate ASAP, and if you move houses change your address ASAP – Matt and I didn’t do these things and as a result it has made proceeding with things a lot harder for me.
- Most importantly, know where you stand with God the Creator and Redeemer and make the most of each and every day that you are blessed with.
I am sure there are more things to think about, but these are the ones that have been on my heart as I have waded through the paperwork and handling of Matt’s affairs.
Be ready friends, it’s important and it’s worth it.