The Things We Leave Behind, Part 1: Can We Talk About the "D" Word?

This blog, the first in a series, will take us down the winding path I have walked the past 16 months and will offer some very practical suggestions for you to consider for yourself, your loved ones, and those left behind. I was left behind when my wife died after a long and difficult illness. Like most people, we didn’t have the “what if” discussions. She never wanted to talk about the “D” word. I thought we had decades left, and I never thought she would go first. Please don’t make the mistake of thinking that this blog doesn’t apply to you.

Allow me to ask you what I hope to be thought-provoking. Are you ready to die? My wife was. Her ordeal started on 9/26/16 with a ruptured frontal lobe aneurysm and ended in her death on 5/6/17. The day before she died I asked her, “What is the best thing that can happen to you?” Without hesitation, she said, “That I die and go to Heaven.” We had talked about death a few days earlier after she read a book I gave her, “90 Minutes in Heaven.” In our discussion that day I told her I didn’t think she had long to live. No medical personnel had given us any indication, but I felt it. Two days before she died she went with me on an errand. As we passed a local cemetery, she agreed that would be a good place to be buried. 

My point is simple; we had some discussions during her last hours, but there were other discussions we should have had many years earlier. What discussions do you need to have with your spouse, your parents, your siblings, or your kids? Other than those last few days, Sue never wanted to talk about death. I think the book changed her perspective. Since her death, I have had those discussions with my son and daughter. 

Until I post the next blog, I would like you to consider the following question. Are you ready for the devastating changes and challenges of aging, retirement, your death, the death of a parent, or a spouse? Is it time for some contemplation and conversation?

For a gift of any amount to Elder Source Senior Ministries, I will send you a copy of “90 Minutes in Heaven.” Donations can be made online or mailed to the address below. Mention the offer when making your donation.

Mail donations to:
Elder Source Senior Ministries
PO Box 4848
Greenville, SC 29608

Stan Means
Elder Source Senior Ministries
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