When the song, The Weight of the Badge came out by George Strait my husband insisted I listen to it and then told me he wanted it played at his funeral. I gave him a snarl and brushed him off. The thought of losing him be it to old age, accident or disease is the last thing I want on my mind. The problem with brushing it off is that if something did happen I would be utterly unprepared to deal with his death. It isn't that I would be helpless but if something bad happened I don't know where my mind would be. The process of losing a person is not easy and even less so when you aren't prepared for the fatal condition called life.
Death is not a topic to be scared of or avoided, it is a one hundred percent guarantee that at some point this life will end. It does not matter what field or profession a person is in. Any profession can be at risk. It is not just law enforcement that needs to plan ahead. Sickness, disease, and death could hit anyone. Car accidents happen every day and they can happen to anyone. Don't wait until it is too late to make your wishes known.
It is not an easy conversation to start. One thing to consider is that death isn't the first thing to come. Serious disease like cancer or heart disease can cause prolonged hospital stays. Physical injury can lead to disability long before death. Either can leave a person incapacitated and not able to make the decision for themselves. Who would you want with the power to pull the plug?
Then there is who and what you leave behind. Children are a big factor for many people. Their age makes a difference. A two-year-old will need much more care and support financially than a 17-year-old. Debt, assets, and property, all these things have to be considered. Who will get it? Are the children old enough? If something happened to both parents who do you want to take care of your children?
The part that everyone does consider at least once in life is the final parting. Is it cremation or coffin? Is it a burial plot or an exotic location to spread your ashes? Costs are a big factor. Will there be enough money to carry out the type of service and burial that is desired? If you never have the conversation, how do you know what the other person's wishes are?
If you have never had the conversation don't wait another day. None of us are promised tomorrow. It is one of the hardest conversations a person can have. When it comes to that inevitable moment, when the moments on earth end, it will leave some peace. There will be comfort in knowing that their wishes will be carried out. There will be peace in the chaos when the ones left behind are not left piled with uncertainty. Make plans for the future, not just for you but the ones you love. Leave behind a legacy, not a question mark.