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I went away this weekend with some girlfriends, and is often the case when women are together for 48+ hours, the topics of conversation cover a wide range. For us, it was everything from coffee creamer to Kardashians, moisturizers to....mortality.
Most of the women in the group already have children, so unlike yours truly who still has bank accounts in her maiden name, these ladies have their stuff in order. They have wills. They have recruited and approved women their husbands should marry in their untimely deaths. My most organized friend, who plans, prepares, and freezes her meals months in advance, has something I think every house needs: A Death Packet.
In this packet she and her husband have detailed everything they do, respectively, to keep their house in order. Passwords, plans - simple rules for how their life works - all in one place. If Dan goes before me, I would surely need all the details about our finances, something that (by choice) is totally out of my hands. Likewise, if Dan is left without me, he'd need a map for finding his socks (check the dryer first). A short list of people know where to find my friend's packet if something were to happen to both her and her husband at the same time, and meanwhile, they have the peace of knowing that when the worst happens, dealing with Life Goes On will be a little bit easier.
But here's where their planning for the worst makes the will you put together on the internet or even by a fancy lawyer fall a little short: in the packet are letters she and her husband have written to each other. To be opened....when. Straight out of the Nicholas Sparks Guide to Estate Planning, no? When she told me this I nearly choked up, mostly because I know this couple and could imagine it, but also because I think that final good-bye, a letter you can hold and have forever, is both the most bittersweet and romantic gesture I've ever heard.
It is never easy to talk about losing the people you love, so that makes preparing for it very easy to avoid. Rarely do I return from a long weekend with friends with anything but bloat and a hangover, but after this weekend, I came home not only knowing I need to get my affairs in order, but feeling inspired to actually do it.