Blog Posts in Your InBox!
I know this may sound like a morbid post — but stay with me here — it’s important. I told you in my last post that as I was preparing to leave for South Korea, I contemplated some serious questions. Maybe it was because I was getting on a plane for fifteen hours. Maybe it was because we’re amid a pandemic. Maybe it’s because we were going to the other side of the globe. Maybe it was just because we were leaving for two months, which seems like such a long time. Or maybe it was a combination of all these factors, but regardless, I was adamant about leaving all my affairs in order.
I updated my will, which is always a little unpleasant, but necessary to do. I organized my finances, updated a master password list, and jotted down the phone number of my life insurance agent. All this to arm my husband with anything he might need if something happened to me. (Clearly, I’m the one who handles our affairs at home!)
I even spent weeks waking up early to write letters for Justin and Ryan. I wrote letters for specific dates like Halloween, Thanksgiving, and my son’s 10th birthday. Others were love letters; And some were reminder notes like don’t forget to brush your teeth, remember to say what you’re thankful for every day, and tell dad to play the Daily Stoic for you on your way to school. (I didn’t write these in case something bad happened to me, I wrote them to be there even when I wasn’t. In hindsight, they were important either way.)
A few days before I left, I commented to a friend, “I feel like I’m prepared to die.”
“Shut up!” she said harshly. “Don’t talk like that.”
I laughed. “I don’t think I’m going to die, silly. I’m just telling you that if I did die, everything would be in order.” She didn’t find my comments funny.
But it’s true. I was confident we’d be okay on our trip. I live by the philosophy that life is rigged in my favor. My friends lovingly call me a unicorn, because I go through life carefree and wearing rose-colored glasses.
But even unicorns should have a plan.
I’ve been in South Korea for a week already. Today my husband called to tell me that a colleague of his suffered a heart attack yesterday and died. He was attending a court hearing via Zoom when the heart attack struck. He was a young man.
We were so sad to learn this tragic news.
“He was about my age,” my husband shared solemnly. “That could happen to any of us.”
Finding out a young person died suddenly is a wake-up call. It shines a light on the sobering reality that it could happen to anyone of us, at any age. Death doesn’t discriminate.
So, what do you do when you’re faced with yor mortality? You prepare. You get your house in order.
Here are some basic suggestions to get you started:
I felt an incredible sense of peace by the time I boarded the plane to South Korea. Everything was in order. Everyone was taken care of. The only thing left to do was enjoy myself and savor the moments with my son.
No one wants to die, but we shouldn’t be afraid to talk about death or prepare for it. It’s not about us, anyway. It’s about protecting the people we leave behind when the inevitable happens. Don’t worry, you’re not jinxing it by being prepared! You’re just living mindfully and intentionally.
Once you’ve gone through this exercise you will feel accomplished and relieved. You’ve assumed responsibility for the things within your control, and you can focus on living in the present moment and enjoying your life to the max.
That’s the thing about preparing to die… it allows you to truly live.