As a parent, I never want to leave my children with the burden of worry or question when I die. So, I decided to handle it the only way I know how to these days and that’s by laying it out for them loud and clear in my living/last will + testament.
It took me some thought and time to get this down on paper. I avoided it for a while; I mean who wants to think about life after death? I shed many tears, but knew it was necessary and am so glad it is done. I will edit and add to it as life progresses, but for now- it feels simple and complete. And what better gift than to share with them my last wishes and especially how I felt about them as their mother?
I never thought to post this, but my husband has urged me to do so.
And so here it is.
I encourage you to take some time to do the same.
If the time comes when I can no longer take part in decisions for my own or my children’s future, let this declaration stand as a testament to my wishes:
I will save you the legalistic verbiage as I went into detail with requests and specifics concerning my spouse and children, appointed executor and guardians, sustaining life, and final body arrangement requests (cremation and celebration of life with burgers + cookies), including disposing of my ashes (after donating any available organs) into the Loxahatchee River near the home where I raised my children and the dock where I married their father.
I then closed the document with a personal letter to my children (current, future and adopted) which reads below:
Letter to my children:
I am sorry I am no longer there with you. I know it must make you sad. I want you to know that if I were there now, I would be wiping your tears away and giving you Eskimo kisses and big squeezes. I hope you know it is okay to be sad, or angry at times. You don’t have to hold it all together. Just don’t stay that way for too long. Feel what you need to, and let it pass. I know this doesn’t seem fair, but we must trust God with His plan for our family. Please know that I am not in any pain, and am enjoying time with our Heavenly Father. It’s beautiful here!
There are a few things I wanted to write to you, in case this happened before I was able to express it to you fully in person.
I am with you ALWAYS. On ALL your Birthdays, graduations, promotions, celebrations; and especially through your heartaches, mistakes, failures, and confusions. You will get through it and grow and learn from it. I promise.
If you fall in love, take your time. And if you decide to one day get married, I am there watching and smiling. You picked a great one. I approve! And you look so incredibly beautiful. Honor and respect each other. Forgive quickly. Love hard. Put each other first.
I love your daddy with every ounce of my being. He is an incredible husband and father. A man of integrity, honesty, loyalty, and silliness! He was my everything, my best friend, and helped me become the best version of myself possible. Oh, and he helped give me you! What a blessing. We prayed and planned for each one of you. You filled a part of our hearts that we never knew existed.
Listen to me baby- Pray to God. Talk to Him often. Find quiet time each day to center yourself and slow your thoughts. Meditate. Do yoga! Get sun, but not too much. Love yourself. Love others. And own a dog, damn it! You’ll find out why.
Be careful with drugs and alcohol. Or sex or shopping or running away from your feelings or doing too much of anything that numbs you. Addiction lives on both sides of our family. If you are ever in need of a release, write, ask for help, share you thoughts with someone you trust. Take a walk by the ocean’s shoreline; hearts can be healed there and thoughts are made clear there. Allow yourself to feel, okay?
Stay humble. Be kind. Give away more than you take. Read. Study!!! Work hard. Have fun!
Never, EVER forget how much I loved being your momma. I saw God in the eyes of each one of you. And heard his grace in the sound of your giggles. Thank you for having me as your mother, then, now and forever.
You have been my GREATEST joy.
I LOVE YOU.