Are YOU Ready?

As many of you know, a week ago Monday my father-in-law, at age 93, “went home to be with our Lord.” As painful as losing a loved one is, I learned so much and saw God’s hand over and over as we walked through this journey. I want to share a couple things that I pray will help you too when confronting the loss of a loved one:

SALVATION CONFIRMED – Check! I had a relationship with him for 44 years, but only had this conversation with him when he went into the hospital this time. Shame on me, but I find it the hardest to share with family members, especially my father-in-law who thankfully just came to Lord in the last few years. Being able to pray over him in his last few minutes was such a huge blessing!

ADVANCE HEALTH CARE DIRECTIVE – Check! Thankfully he had made arrangements with an attorney ahead of time, making my husband his Power of Attorney who then only had to make medical decisions for him when he could no longer do so on his own. This took much pressure off my husband, knowing that his only job was to follow through on his “End of Life” decision to just be made comfortable. You can download a free copy of a CA Advance Health Care Directive form from the CA Office of the Attorney General online.

WILLS/TRUST – Check! His directions were clearly spelled out so the only thing left in this regard is to follow his wishes. The purpose of a will is to distribute property after death. The purpose of a trust is to provide management of your assets during your lifetime and distribution of assets after death. Perhaps refer to an attorney with any questions in this regard.

IMPORTANT PAPERS – Check! All in one lock box, easy to retrieve. Bank account numbers, credit cards, doctors, medication, contact numbers, etc. One thing he did too, that we will now do, is attach a sales receipt to any Booklet/Warranty that came with a product he purchased – all kept in one file. It immediately told us how much he had paid and what year the item was purchased. 🙂

FINAL RESTING PLACE – Check! He had determined ahead of time that he wished to have his body cremated and where the ashes were to be put to rest. Some make pre-arrangements and payment with Funeral Homes, some do not. He had not actually paid ahead of time, but had specific directions as to what he wanted and where he wanted to be laid to rest. Pre-planning of caskets, vases, etc. is a great help as you are not as emotional and will probably end up saving money by making these plans in advance.

FUNERAL/MEMORIAL SERVICE – Check! He did not want any service following his passing, but many do. Have a conversation with your loved one today to determine their wishes and what they would like their service to include. In planning so many of these services, I find that the families who have had this conversation ahead of time are really blessed by knowing exactly what their loved one wanted – favorite song(s), favorite Bible verses, favorite picture(s), favorite color, who will do the Eulogy, etc. Immediately after someone’s passing there are SO many decisions to be made during the first 48 hours that the more you can make ahead of time, the better!

And, last but not least, be sure to thank all of those who walked the journey with you – either by praying or by offering meals, or by running errands, sending cards, or offering care to your loved one (Care givers, nurses, doctors, etc.). So… THANK YOU! Thank you to EVERYONE who showed our family the love of Jesus! I am blessed by being part of a wonderful church family!

Diane Baker