“My Parents Will Die Someday”
In the Summer of 2008 my Dad sat down with my brother, Lance, and me and discussed exactly what he wanted us to do when he dies.
We all gathered on a comfy brushed-velvet green coach at Lance’s home in Rocklin, CA. It was a very casual sharing of information. Dad had all the paperwork: a living trust, power of attorney, a list of accounts for his bank, investments, insurance, annuities and assets. He also had a list of phone numbers of all the people to call, including his best friend, Rob. It was all ready to go – just like pushing a button.
The funeral arrangements were all arranged: Neptune Society, with his ashes being sprinkled over the southern California ocean. And since everything is in a trust there are no probate problems. Everything is transfered to me and Lance automatically. Just the way Dad wants it.
It was one of the most empowering, loving conversations I’ve ever had with my Dad. There were no tears and no sorrow – and no fear. It was simply a conversation about the facts, along with what he wanted and who to call.
Dad’s still alive and well. So, now especially, we can talk about anything. Not that we couldn’t before, but after a conversation about death everybody’s conversational-table is forever expanded.
Most children never get the chance to talk about the death of their parents “with their parents.” Most people just freak out after-the-fact, mainly because they always freak out about the thought of it in the first place.
My Dad stepped up to the plate and initiated a conversation with Lance and me that I personally would have never thought about mentioning – let alone all of the details. It was literally just a regular conversation about paperwork and his wishes. And it’s one of the most empowering conversations I’ve ever shared with my Dad.
Since my Dad added his death to our family conversation, it’s no longer a scary, taboo subject. It’s out in the open. Now I can talk to my Dad about his death while he’s still alive – WHILE HE’S STILL ALIVE. That’s empowering. That’s fear-less. That’s love.