Nearly two years ago, I wrote a post about having a conversation with my husband about how we want to age. I wasn't looking forward to the conversation, but I knew it had to be done. And my plan wasn't just about the talking, it was about the doing – getting our wills, filling out the necessary forms, and really making our wishes known. Working in a business that is devoted to successful aging, you’d think I’d be right on top of this.
Confession: I still haven’t done it. I know. I can feel you judging me already. Or perhaps you get it because you've been there, or you are there. I don’t have an excuse other than life gets in the way, and I know that’s not a good excuse.
Since I declared my intentions, life has more than turned upside down and inside out. I lost my beloved grandmother – the one I wrote of often. Three weeks later, my grandfather, who I spent time caring for, lost his battle with cancer. It wasn't but another few weeks later that our close family friend also passed away. And then just a few short months later, I found myself at two more family funerals.
But like I said, life happening isn't a good excuse. After all, it happens to all of us (at least those of us who are fortunate). Amidst all the sadness, pure grief, and pillow-soaking tears, good came from my season of sadness.
I’ll chalk it up to human nature that another person’s death makes us think about our own mortality. Each funeral I attended opened up the door to discuss aging wishes with someone. My husband and I discussed our wishes numerous times in these months. I was also able to have the conversation with my sister – a topic too serious to infiltrate our normal phone conversations. And a long road trip to a funeral with my mom allowed the two of us to have similar conversations.
I know what you’re thinking: “That’s a lot of talking, Cat, but what are you going to do about it?”
I hear ya, I really do. And here comes the big “but”. But, I am not going to look at this as a failure or a setback. I learned something very valuable through all of these conversations about aging and death. This isn't a one-and-done conversation. This is a topic we need to be discussing regularly. And yes, we need to actually do something about it; we need to make these conversations official.
So here I am, once again pledging to make my wishes official. It’s time to put pen to paper. This time, I’m going to do it; I pinkie swear. Life can get in the way all it wants, this girl isn't going to let today get in the way of what she wants for tomorrow.
Get helpful tips and articles like these delivered to your email.