The morning my dad unexpectedly passed away is one of the saddest days of my life. It is the day I feel I became an adult. He was my go-to for everything from parenting questions, to what colour shoes to buy. He was always there for me and my daughter. He always put us first, and considered our feeling so I thought…..
Later that day I had to go to the funeral home. I was 28 and my brother 19. We had some huge decisions to make and no idea what to do. I didn’t have him to call and ask. Financially we were in no situation the pay for a funeral. My dad was close to his family so no one offered to chip in. We had this huge shock in our life and were grieving and somehow expected to think rationally. How could my dad do that to us? Yes, in the midst of my sadness I hate to admit this but I felt angry. That day I felt so sad, but most of all I was mad at him. I was mad that he died and yes I know that is not rational but also angry for him not preparing a legal will.
My dad was a reasonable and thoughtful man; how did he not consider that one day we would be in a situation that we were not prepared for? How did he leave us stranded with no sign or guidance of what he wanted from us? I am sure he didn’t expect to die so young but he was a smart man how did he never think it as an option? We applied for assistance to help cover the funeral costs. We are Jewish and thankfully have a great community of resources and supports. They only covered the basic funeral costs and burial, however, I was grateful. I did not have the mental capacity to arrange or plan anything anyways. We had a graveside funeral nothing fancy but, I wished I could have done more.
My dad this intelligent, social butterfly an accountant by trade, how could this happen? He had no life insurance and no legal will. He had no plans or wishes that I knew of. He didn’t have many material things but if he did have anything outside of his home its gone now with him. How did he not think of making a will? Sure, I was an adult but why would any parent want to leave their children of any age the burden of funeral costs or the unsettling feeling of making a decision they wouldn’t be proud of, I felt lost sad, confused and alone. I still feel a bit bitter but try to find comfort in the fact that he thought he would live forever. With his humor, he totally believed that. Shortly after his passing I went and got a life insurance policy. Not a large policy but enough that my 1 daughter at the time could cover my funeral expenses and have a little spending cash to shop her sorrows away.
I’m embarrassed to say, but to this day my dad doesn’t have a gravestone. The rules of for excepting assistance is you have to pay the funeral and burial expenses in full if you want to place a beautiful stone at the gravesite. We can place a cheap plaque with his name on it but I just want it to be beautiful. I am go big or go home type of momma. People have made comments to me and behind my back about how I can leave his site with no name for 10 years. I blame him for that, however. I feel he knows I will do it once I can. He was a simple man but he deserves a nice stone. So until that day he will sleep and wait until we can pay in full for his bad judgment, neglecting to think and plan for his future.
Moms and dads reading this please go get a legal will drafted. I also recommend investing in a life insurance policy if you can afford it. Even a basic amount. Take it from me a grown woman, when he passed. No child can think clearly while grieving to properly handle your death and the responsibility that follows. Please don’t procrastinate we don’t get to choose our time. Even though we don’t want to think, it what if yours is tomorrow? Are you prepared? If you have young kids, are they taken care of? I hope to take care of my children even after I leave this world. There first days without me I don’t want them to feel overwhelmed. They better be sad though because I am the ish momma! When ‘da’ and I meet again I will defiantly be asking him a few questions. I will also thank him for teaching me another huge life lesson even though I wish I didn’t have to learn it.
This related blog post may interest you; You are going to Die; Parents you need a Legal Will. Thank you for reading please add your thoughts and comments below.