A couple weeks ago I had a life-changing experience as I watched my grandfather slip away from this life and into the next. He was seriously burned on much of the lower half of his body seven weeks prior and had endured several surgeries, grafting, therapy, and months of rehabilitation to get back to his former functioning self. The family was eventually called to the hospital when he stopped improving, and his children made the decision to allow him to pass peacefully.
No matter one’s religious or spiritual beliefs about death and/or the afterlife, I can’t imagine anyone watching someone that they love pass away without gaining a renewed appreciation for life and the time we have to be with those we love.
In some ways, we almost felt like my grandfather just might live forever! He survived World War II and everything associated with that experience. He worked hard his entire life and raised a wonderful family. We all knew the end would come sometime, but we were never prepared for that actual moment.
While giving advice to my clients, it is easy for me to talk about incapacity and death because this is what I do everyday and death is just a part of practicing in estate planning. We are all going to die. But as I watched my grandfather take his final breaths, my view on death took on a whole new meaning. It suddenly became very personal and I immediately felt more deeply for all the clients that we work with during this difficult time in their lives. I was never callous before and thought I was fairly sympathetic, but my sensitivity and sympathy has certainly been heightened.
My purpose in writing this blog is to remind each of us to take the time we should with those that we love. We never know when the end will come and we never want to look back with regret. I was blessed to enjoy many wonderful years with my grandfather and I look forward to seeing him again in the next life. But until that time, you can bet that the hugs I give and the time I spend with my family will be that much more special.
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This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice, please contact an attorney in your community who can assess the specifics of your situation.