Fewer topics solicit more fear, dread and influence than death. Most people prefer to avoid talking about death - forcing you to come to terms with the mortality reality of you, your spouse, your kids, your animals, your parents, etc. It's scary, hard and emotionally painful. Imaging the world without your key people in them is painful... and often so easy to not think about, or come to terms with. But mortality, death and survivor ship is a real thing that's likely not going away and can often be more painful emotionally if you're not prepared and aware of these risks.
So why do we fear death so much? Perhaps it goes back to our own biological survival mechanisms trying to keep us (and our offspring) alive... or perhaps its the fear of unknown. Either way, we know the world continues on without us (or worse, without our kids or spouse), and it's really emotionally hard to understand. So why not just bury this issue? Why not just sweep it under the rug, not worry about it and pretend that it's never a risk or not going to happen.
But then you die (just like our dog - unexpected, sudden and ever-changing). What happens to your debts, estate, kids, family, possessions or obligations? If you've never looked into wills, student debt repayment obligations, life insurance, etc chances are your family is at risk. But as young parents - the obligations we already face (both in time and money) are pretty strong.
It's so easy (and often emotionally advantageous) to put these wills, life insurance and conversations to the bottom of your priority list. But the risk is there, and it's worth having these conversations to both better come to peace with your own mortality, and better prepare for these unfortunate scenarios.
Unfortunately, we had the opportunity to reflect upon all of this when our Great Dane, Lena passed away unexpectedly on Thanksgiving day. Seeing her pass over the "rainbow bridge", helping our kids understand what exactly happens, and then reflecting upon how we as parents can better manage the reality of death that faces everyone.
So in the interest of you learning from our experiences, here's a podcast reflecting on our own mortality. Although a somber topic, may it be helpful to you and your family.
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