What If You Die…Suddenly? pt 1
I recently heard of a young student whose father died quite suddenly and it really struck a chord.
Without judgement, I believe simplicity and mindfulness would have alleviated a great deal of suffering for those concerned. Read on:
Like many, the gentleman was a single parent and he left behind a teenager and a rather frightened twenty one year old.
While he had passed on – hopefully now at rest, the most intensely traumatic period of difficulty, mourning, indecision, insecurity, lack of knowledge, lack of information and lack of experience was about to come down on his children like a heavily reinforced ton of bricks.
The oldest child, (almost thankfully), was still too in shock to mourn and was forced to become a fully cooked adult overnight with so much to organize. He also faced making the tough decision to drop out of school to deal with the imposed administrative complications of living and dying. Unhelpfully, the fathers office was described as ‘a mess of papers.’
The main issues being:
Assuming there is one, how to continue to pay the mortgage?
What about continuing school fees?
Who was the fathers’ lawyer and /or accountant?
In the children’s vulnerable position could the father’s business partner be trusted?
Can anyone be trusted?
Is there a will?
Any debts to pay off? The rent? Electricity?
FOR GOODNESS SAKE, WHERE DO I START AND WHO DO I TALK TO??!!!
For most adults this would be a difficult time. Imagine for a kid or young adult.
We’ve all heard about terminal illness sufferers making recordings for their children and getting their affairs in order and likewise it is really important that – even though we all think we will live forever – that we get our papers and finances in simple, understandable order so that an 8 year old could get to grips with it should we meet our maker sooner than we thought. In this case the children had also already lost their mom to cancer a year before.
This story really struck me because as a simpletonian and something of a closet hippie, I have little truck with excessive busy body red tape-ism and bureaucratic mumbo jumbo. But also having run successful businesses I know that if you do not sort out your paperwork someone else will do it for you - and not necessarily to your benefit!
It touched me also because it is something I had been continuously rescheduling regarding my own (horrifically disorganized) parent for months…It has to be done.
Once it’s done – it’s done.
Mourners have enough to deal with.
Click here for a very useful list of things to consider doing from a parents POV: