In a weird coincidence, I this afternoon attended Ash Wednesday services and just finished updating my end-of-life letter to my family.
At the service, you’re reminded that “you’re dust and to dust you will return.” It is a traditional way to kick off Lent, which begins six weeks of prayer, fasting and alms giving.
I have the letter on hand to be organized. It lists all the various things Mrs. T. would need to do after I die, or what our children’s guardians need to do should Mrs. T. and I die suddenly at the same time.
Honestly, I don’t mind updating the letter. It is meant to give clarity, and lists the contact info. for various legal and financial advisors and all sorts of information about our estate-planning documents.
I decided some years ago that the last thing my children need in a time of grief is try to piece together a bunch of legal documents and the ramifications that ensue. So, my letter is meant to give some ease of mind. After someone dies, there’s a tremendous amount of paperwork involved.
Of course, there’s always the scenario whereby Mrs. T. dies before I do. It’s not fun to think about it. I the other day half-joked with her that I’d be a fishing monk, if that were to happen. Once my work and full-time parenting obligations were done, I’d move to Montana for a bit, live in a small room, and pray and fish all day. I think I would need some time to prep for my next phase in life.
It’s healthy to think about The End. It definitely influences what choices I make today.
From The Doors:
This is the end, beautiful friend
This is the end, my only friend, the end
Of our elaborate plans, the end
Of everything that stands, the end
No safety or surprise, the end
I’ll never look into your eyes, again