Sometimes everything has to be enscribed across the heavens so you can find the one line already written inside you. Sometimes it takes a great sky to find that small, bright, and indescribable wedge of freedom in your own heart. David Whyte

Matters of Life and Death

on May 3, 2015

Spring is moving right along. Yesterday the temperature hit seventy degrees. People were on the patio below my windows sunbathing. The family who lives in the first floor apartment that opens onto the patio who have their own good-sized garden plot were out digging and generally making way for planting season. The squirrel was in the oak tree beside my window looking for leaf buds to eat. The resident geese were in attendance. The pool has been drained and awaits a string of days warm enough for a fresh coat of paint to be applied before it can be filled with water. Summer is on the way.

Meanwhile my word game friends and I are having conversations about end-of-life matters after we read a book on the subject. I thought I had taken care of everything when my attorney in Chicago drew up Power of Attorney forms for health and finance along with a new will before I moved here to my new home. Just to be sure, I went over these forms and discovered they were already obsolete. They were created using Illinois forms and in my previous married name. I went to the Senior Center to get Ohio forms and start over. I even picked up a DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) form for good measure. A trusted friend referred me to an attorney who would help me draw up a new will as well as check out the Ohio forms I had filled out. At our first meeting the attorney explained that I did not want a DNR at this time. This stopped me short. I had filled out and sent mine to my doctor who now has it on file. I had put my copy of the DNR on my refrigerator door where the EMS squad knows to look in the event of an emergency. After my attorney counseled against my having one at present I thought about the days before there were such forms. My mother had congestive heart failure and was taken to the hospital in an unresponsive condition. The doctor revived her and she lived three more good years before her heart failed for good. I went home and called my doctor to revoke the DNR he had on file for me. Then I removed my copy from the refrigerator door and tore it up – for now. Having an open-ended future and playing it by ear is a relief. I feel free to live and enjoy my good health and strong mind. I could be wrong but I’m willing to take that chance.

My attorney, who really knows her stuff, discussed a new will with me. She plans to make it so financial bequests to my sons are not subject to probate. She advised that personal bequests of family furniture and other such objects be included in a letter I’ll write that is to be referred to in my will. This letter sheds new light on my Last Will and Testament. It will be my last chance to surprise my sons with gifts – written in my own words instead of legal language. I look forward to writing it. Altogether I am looking ahead to aging in a new light. It’s like I will have training wheels to assist me but freedom to ride with the wind in my hair.

10 responses to “Matters of Life and Death

  1. Thank you for sharing. After visiting, I realize Hubby and I need to tweak our wills written about ten years ago when we still lived in Wisconsin. We are now residents of Florida, and not sure what the legal ramifications of that might be. Blogging friends, like yourself, continue to expand and broaden my space to receive new things, places, and people. Again, thank you.

    • vivachange77 says:

      I’m glad my experience is helpful to you. I agree that being connected to blogging friends provides a wealth of learning and enjoyment, too. 🙂

  2. Luanne says:

    With my father in hospice and all the matters we’ve had to think of, I pulled out our wills/trusts and discovered they are out of date and now have to see the lawyer again. Lots to think about. Interesting about the DNR. Good thinking on that–thank you for mentioning it! It sounds like you are getting good advice.

  3. vivachange77 says:

    I’m sorry to hear that your father is at the stage of being in hospice. Seeing about wills and financial matters being up-to-date is important. Yes, I feel really good about my new lawyer. My best to you and your family. ❤

  4. “Having an open-ended future and playing it by ear is a relief.” Wow. Heavy post. But I can feel the lightness in your heart. That is great that we can include a letter that’ll be honored along with a formal will.


  5. vivachange77 says:

    Thanks, Diana. I’m glad my lightness of heart came through. It is what I wanted to communicate. ❤

  6. lauzlau says:

    You’re are fortunate to have a good lawyer. Thank you for the reminder & I like the personal separate list. 🙂

    • vivachange77 says:

      Thanks for your comment. It is a good feeling to have a lawyer who is taking care of important matters that I believe cannot be ignored. My new will and other papers are ready for me to sign. A friend will drive me to my lawyer’s office to be my witness for signing them. Afterward I’m taking her to lunch at a lovely small restaurant nearby. Then I’ll be back to living my very good life.

  7. I so love your spirit! Just had to do the DNR related paperwork for my cataract surgery. It does make a person think about how things used to be. Oh. My. Talk about having one’s affairs in order…you really made think about having a courageous attitude with this post. Onward with courage!

    • vivachange77 says:

      Thanks, Susan. It feels good to have things done and in order. The best thing I learned is that in the “boiler plate” for a simple will there is a section for Digital Property. I wanted to be sure my blog would be there for my children and now I know it will, even if I don’t understand how. 🙂

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