A trust, the written kind, the instrument one prepares for loved ones upon death. After years of thinking about having it done, it is now complete. I can die, knowing my loved ones won’t have to make extraordinary decisions during a extraordinarily painful time.
Of course, I’ll be dead, so why does planning make a difference?
To begin with: assets. My brother and I were co-executors upon mom’s death. While this was somewhat difficult during the time selling her house, we knew what mattered most to mom and she knew her kids well enough we would figure things out.
The decision of whether to include my kids in the trust proves unfinished with little to no closure. This, in turn, is why amendments were born: we can amend anything we want, whenever we want in writing.
As my husband and I sat across the heavy ladened table that first meeting with the attorney, the questions of children; how many? their ages? I spoke about mine – we used to know each other, I raised them for 22 years. Now they are no longer a part of my life and I’m not sure to include them in my trust. It came out of my mouth so casually, as if this was now normal.
Does one omit a daughter from her trust due to estrangement? If the adult child chose the estrangement, should the parent include her child simply because of birthright? Since they made the decision to cut off, why then, feel the need to include them?
Because…They are my children, two daughters I raised. They chose to eliminate themselves, not the other way around.
Part of me wants to reach out and simply ask, “Would you like to be included in my trust? I’m asking because I have no idea if I’m already dead to you, and if so, that’s fine. I am asking for my own sense of closure before I actually die.”
I could live with that.
Someday I shall die. Death has a way of elevating perspective. The older we get, the more clarity in what we want. I see families broken, prior to death, years before death. Many of those families do not heal after. (Some do, however, another blog post, another time) Whatever chasms lay, so do they heighten upon death. Death is not a natural path towards healing from estrangement. It merely forces who our authentic selves are and brings it to the forefront. Choice remains ours, surrounded by life or death.
I keep thinking that writing will awaken new insight. Lately, at least, this moment, I’m not feeling it. I’m tired, sad, disjointed in my thinking. I miss my mom much, her voice, her insight and I want to lay on her bed, take an afternoon nap while she works on her crossword puzzle next to me. A nap sounds dreamy, as my sleep patterns are anything but predictable of late.
More to ponder. For now, sweet reader, peace out. ✌️
We’ll find each other soon. 💜