In 2004, I experienced some tough losses in my life. It started with my uncle passing away in February, followed by my father-in-law in March, my grandmother and my Husband both in June. I was far too young to face so much loss – I was only in my early 20s. During this time I had three small children and was pregnant with my fourth, which made the loss of my husband especially poignant. Then, to top things off, my father was in need of a liver and the doctors diagnosed him with only a year left to live. I thank God he received a liver and that I still have him here with me today.
The reason I decided to share all of this is because I was young and never expected to face such tragedy at that time in my life. My husband and I were starting our family and figured we’d have time later to set things up for our future. We did not have that time. All the events that took place were unexpected, leaving me and my children alone and without assistance. I struggled for years trying to put things back together for us. Although my husband had told me he had a trust set up, we had not created the documents together, so I never had access to them. In fact, his family refused to let me have access to whatever documents he may have created. Unfortunately, his family felt that I was to blame for the accident that took his life. To this day, we have almost no communication. It is unfortunate that they decided to push me and the children away, and take no part in their own grandchildren’s lives. They never provided any assistance as we dealt with the loss and struggled to get our feet on the ground.
I do not share this story for sympathy or out of anger or spite. I share this story to encourage others to plan for their loved ones today! We cannot predict what will happen in our lives or when it will happen. While I am grateful that I have been able to share my story, and have had the opportunity to encourage others to not delay planning for tomorrow, I wish we would have planned then for our future and I would not have had to face so many challenges to restore our lives. While I did have help along the way from family and friends, the ultimate responsibility was mine and I faced a grueling five years of hard work to get us back on our feet.
I am happily remarried now and have 5 lovely children. We are working now to set things up for our own family. We do not know what will happen in the future, and while I pray to God that we are blessed with many years together, I will have peace of mind knowing that we have prepared. That in itself is reason enough to create a plan. So no matter what age you are, life is full of uncertainty, and it is never too early or too late to plan for your loved ones.
Contributed by staff member Tracy Love
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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.
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