A few weeks ago, DH flew to visit his mom and dad, to transition his dad back home from the hospital, and his mom to a new normal, taking over for his sister who had been there several weeks. Now, we have lost our patriarch. He was an incredible man, a bona fide war hero, a kind and generous family man, and a true friend. He is missed by many, none the least of which is his family.
When he told the doctors to stop all the treatments, we gathered the family and met up where he was, to say goodbye, and to settle him in hospice. We got him talking about his life and Army career, and I clicked on the audio recorder on my phone. I am so grateful I have some of his last memories recorded. As I listened to it today, I realized he kept saying, “So, it really worked out well,” when wrapping up stories.
DH stayed on to help get things in order, although my father in law had so lovingly taken care of so much of the planning and other things, so it was really about paperwork and phone calls at that point. And acceptance of the inevitable. After more family arrived, DH returned home. FIL passed away the next day, so DH returned immediately to help with the rest of the arrangements. We will all be gathering for the memorial service, and then again in a few more months at Arlington National Cemetery.
There is no question in times like this, that travel and expenses have to happen. There is every reason to go and say goodbyes, thank yous, we love yous. There is every reason to return to honor the dead and grieve with the living. It is for reasons like this that we are incredibly glad that we knuckled down this year and built a larger emergency fund. We would have gone, regardless, but we are able to disregard the stress of worrying about incurring debt over it.
Other issues have been pressing for us, as well, but not as heavy as this. Dealing with this sadness, yet with joy for his life, is hard enough. We were blessed to have him. We are blessed that we can deal with the situation head on. We are blessed to lean on each other and get through this together. He said he couldn’t have asked for a better life, and he has hundreds of long-time friends to prove it. His life really did work out well.
Seeing how his affairs were in such impeccable order gives us reason to reexamine our own estate. We’ll be doing that, planning more carefully, and thinking of how it will affect others in the process. I encourage you, dear readers, to do the same. If nothing else, please have life insurance in place to take care of the essentials your passing.
I also hope each of you will take some time this weekend to contact your loved ones, tell them how much they mean to you, and cherish that time. And may your life work out really well, too.