As we approach the holidays and the end of 2016, many of us may find that the occasion offers a valuable time for reflection; reflection on our pasts, our futures, and all the things that really matter.
Different people have different values. Culture, age, family influence, and our upbringings can all shape our pursuits and the ways that we determine the meaning of life. Do you wish to leave your mark on the world by helping a good cause? Do you aspire to follow in the footsteps of someone you admire? Do you strive to maximize your peace and enjoyment in the day-to-day?
Some values, however, are universal. And sometimes, it takes a major shift in perspective to recognize the things that truly make us happy. Planning for the end of your life is often one of those life-shifting events.
A hospice chaplain, Kerry Egan, discusses in her recently published article the importance of family and loved ones when nearing the end of our days. During her time as a chaplain in hospitals, nursing homes and during house calls, she’s served as a comfort for many people who knew they didn’t have much time left. In her article, she describes the things people talk about on their death beds. Perhaps surprisingly, she reports that people don’t usually talk about their accomplishments, their religion, or what happens after death.
Instead, almost without fail, they talk about their families, and they talk about love.
The chaplain writes:
This is where we create our lives, this is where we find meaning, this is where our purpose becomes clear.
Family is where we first experience love and where we first give it. It’s probably the first place we’ve been hurt by someone we love, and hopefully the place we learn that love can overcome even the most painful rejection.
This crucible of love is where we start to ask those big spiritual questions, and ultimately where they end.”
It may be the case that once we near the end of our lives, we realize that the love we’ve carried with us is the only thing that can be considered eternal. Our material possessions, our accomplishments, and our careers can’t come with us after death.
Your loved ones, however, can continue to be enriched by your legacy long after you are gone. Planning for your death is one of the most responsible things you can do for your families and the people who have made your life special.
As an estate planning attorney, it is my deep honor to help those considering the futures of their families achieve the peace of mind and security to focus on what truly matters as they move forward in life: their loved ones.
On behalf of the team at Satori Law Group, we wish each and every one of you a happy holiday season filled with love.