The Things We Leave Behind, Part 2: A Rude Awakening

I woke a bit melancholy this morning. I had been dreaming of years ago and woke with the slap in your face realization that I am not the young guy I was years ago. Then another slap came. Sue is gone and has been gone over eight months. Welcome to a wonderful morning, Stan. Are we happy yet?

Sue never made it to retirement age, and I am a few years away, though I have no interest in retiring. I had prepared for my death, but not for Sue’s death. This series, about the things we leave behind, comes from my experiences over the past 17 months. During that time Sue was in the hospital and rehab for about seven months. Her father had two blood clots at the base of his brain. Both of my parents were hospitalized. My mother passed away. Sue’s father fell, shattered his hip, and is still not back home. I have had plenty of opportunities to learn a few things.

I had a major financial setback about 14 years ago. The setback destroyed my financial plan for our future. If Sue were here to tell you, she would say that I changed. A few years later I remember her saying, “My Stan is back.” After that setback, I was more intent on saving for retirement. Together we decided we wanted to live debt free. We already had a Will, but I made sure I had some life insurance in case I died before Sue. I created a file entitled, “In Case of My Death.” The file contained all the information Sue needed. Now the updated file provides that information for my kids.

Obviously. I don’t know your age, but if you are an adult of any age you need to prepare for your death. As I said in part two of this series, you need to have the discussion. You need to ask the questions. Do you have a file like the one I mentioned? Do you have a will? Do you have life insurance? Is it never too early to start the discussions or to ask the questions for your loved ones? What will you leave behind? Will you add to your loved ones’ grief because you were not prepared, or will your preparedness ease their burdens? Take the time to ask the questions. Start the file.


For a gift of any amount this month, I will send you the book that God used in my wife’s life during the days before she died. Just ask for “90 Minutes in Heaven” when making your donation. Read the book, and pass it along.

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

Stan Means
Elder Source Senior Ministries
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