Recent events have brought our family, more so Meg and I, to solidify an unsavory but necessary aspect of ALS. Final wishes, honestly this applies to everyone, however living with a terminal condition makes it more pressing.
Why do I call it a gift though? Because it is in fact a gift to your loved ones, to ease the stress, pain and inevitable interjection of extended family. Yes I said it, extended family can in fact, unintentionally, create additional stress. As difficult as it is, “we” as the person with ALS, should consider this. I know, on top of all the sh** we have to endure with this relentless condition… final wishes.
I’m not in a position to offer specific details, but here are a few things to consider:
• Type of service, interment, cremation, donate to science. Of course this entails the specific details for each.
• Significant personal belongings (heirlooms).
• Ensuring all legal needs are met to avoid hiccups with assets and property. (Will, Trust, Life Insurance, VA Benefits, Gifts etc.)
Whether of modest means or not, I believe probate can and does apply in most cases. This can cause an undue financial and emotional burden on surviving family. I recommend seeking professional legal counsel to address this, at the least to know what best suites you.
When we prepare for the inevitable, which we must all face, we give our loved ones peace of mind. Allowing them to focus on the love and memories of our life. Mourning will be inevitable, but your celebration will be by your design, a reflection of you.
As a society we have moved far away from what used to be considered a natural fact, our own demise. As such we have become uncomfortable with these essential conversations. I don’t want to think about this, but I must, it’s important to our family.