The passing of my Step-dad has really made me think about some of the things we should do before our family has to worry about passing away. Yes, not a fun topic by any means but there are ways that we can make it easier on our families and ways that you may not have thought of to ease their pain and financial stress as well. I started to think about these things I think actually before my step-father passed but I have been a little more focused on them since he passed.
I have 4 children and 3 granddaughter’s and I want to make sure that everything is taken care of for when I pass. I haven’t talked to them directly about what I would want, or anything about my passing and what should be done. Talking to your family about those topics can sometimes be hard for everyone involved. However, there are some things that you can do to make your passing a little easier for family members. It won’t be easy at first of course, but everything is a process when grieving.
I wanted to share some tips with you that could help you to make your passing a little easier. There are different things that family members always miss, wish they had more time with, could hear their voice just one more time, and of course many other things they would wish they could do. I really wish that I had thought to do some of these a long time ago for some of our family members that have passed. So I’m going to share them with you so that you can do them before you wish you had. No matter if you are terminally ill, healthy, or want memories of another family member these are some easy ideas that you can do to help your family through your loss.
1) There is of course a Will that you can make so that your family knows your wishes and what you would like when you pass away. You will need to state if you would like a DNR, who will be your power of Attorney for your health or Financial needs in case your unable to take care of it yourself. You will of course want to make sure that someone knows where the Will is in case it is needed, more then likely the Power of Attorney will need to know.
2) There are always those special things that you own that you would like to go to a family member because of their special memories. My Mom and Step Dad a long time ago, discussed who they wanted to get what items each with their own memory. They are in boxes and labeled with every family members name on them so that the family can give them to them. These are only to be given out if something happens to my mother. It’s a way to make sure that those special things that you want to make sure go to someone, that they will receive them or you can give them to them before as well if you choose.
3) I know that some might think this is crazy but writing out your recipes that are family favorites. I suggest making a little book of family favorites that are just to be shared with family only if that is the way you would like it. Make your family members each their own recipe book with those must have recipes. I have to say there are so many dishes of my grandmothers and other family members that have passed and I wish someone in the family had them so that I could make them for my family and pass them down to my children and their children and so on. I’m sure many of you can relate to this and wish you had a recipe for something that someone use to make.
4) Have a Life insurance policy or start to pay off your funeral costs and plan your funeral where you would like it to be. Chose the way you would like your service, your final resting place, and the how you would like everything done. To some it is very important what the service will be and where their final resting place is, and every detail. It is easier to plan it yourself then to have someone who is grieving to plan your funeral.
5) Write a small book about family history for future generations and add photo’s if you have them. Children and future generations may want to know where their ancestors came from and more about each person. It’s more personal if it comes from someone who knew them or met them. They can read the book with their parent and it can be passed down through the family. If there are some funny stories of family events you can add them as well.
6) Make videos of you with your children and grandchildren so that if you pass they still have a way to stay connected to you. You may not be a fan of making video’s but remember your doing it for your family so they still have a piece of you. I can tell you that I HATE having pictures or being in front of a camera but I will do it for my family. I can tell you that as an adult there are very few photo’s of me and I like it that way till I started to think about my family. You can make videos for your grandchildren from when they are born till they are at certain ages and pass your wisdom onto them, a funny story, or something else that you would like to say such as on your first day of school, it’s going to be an amazing day, and what could happen on that day or what you did on your first day.
I also suggest that you make video’s that could be used for your children’s or Grandchildren’s weddings as that is when they miss their parents and grandparents the most. You can pass on words of wisdom to them before they get married of how you worked on your marriage, to never go to bed angry, or any other words of wisdom. I also suggest that you make another video of a special song and you dancing with them at any age that they could use as part of their ceremony at their wedding. Some of the more popular songs are Butterfly kisses, Can I Have This Dance, One Moment In Time, Tonight I Celebrate My Love For You, Up Where We Belong, or many other songs. So that they can have a special dance with you on their special day. If your one of those that loves to pull pranks and make people laugh you may want to do a partial sweet song and then go into busting a move to cheer everyone up and give a little flare to the video.
There are so many things that you can do, or leave for family members so that they can always have a piece of “you” to keep you near and dear to their heart. However, now may be the time to start them so that they are in place so that they are available to family if something does happen. Your family will appreciate it and all the thought that you put into helping ease their pain.