It’s funny how every day, relatively ordinary events can set your mind working in ways that are anything but ordinary.
The deaths of rock drummer, Ginger Baker, and comedian, Rip Torn, just yesterday, did exactly that. And, while I knew neither of them except through their music and their comedy, their deaths sent me on a very strange path of reflection.
News of their passing immediately sent me on a trip back in time to my diagnosis, the long drive home, and the doctor’s sober admonition to “get your house in order.”
Luckily, I had already done that. In fact, I’d done it more than once. And, yet, one of the very first calls I made was to my attorney. I needed to make sure everything was in order and up to date. I had to know that my wishes were clear, known and would be carried out.
It was important to me because I’ve seen the debris stream failing to do that can leave its wake.
But I’m not convinced the time to take care of issues like that is immediately following the news of a catastrophic illness or your imminent demise. In fact, I’m actually certain the time to take care of plans like that is long before the need arises.
The reason is simple and should be obvious. When you are confronted with something as serious as your own mortality or the mortality of someone you love, making after-life plans is one of the last things you’ll be thinking about. At least, not clearly.
I know. I was there.
Aside from that, there is real comfort in knowing that responsibility is not going to fall on anyone else. Comfort in knowing there is one less thing to worry about. And, that all you have to do — as I had to do — is focus on making all those after-life plans wait just a little bit longer.
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