Search This Blog

Friday, April 04, 2008

Some Things I Have Learned

As I write this, I am back in Indiana, preparing for my grandmother's funeral and burial. It has been a very interesting week of emotions, memories, annoyances and frustrations. Here are some things I have learned from this experience.

1. My grandmother was an extremely meticulous lady, going so far as to plan and pay for every bit of her final needs years in advance. This is something that I encourage anyone who is able to do. There are dozens of ways that you can take care of your end of life expenses without bankrupting yourself. These include signing over certain types of insurances polices. My grandmother even went so far as to pay for my travel. She was amazing, and my mother and I have had a much easier and less stressful time of it thanks to her thoughtfulness.

2. When you need them, your friends will almost always be there for you. I have been amazed at how thoughtful and helpful so many of my Indiana friends have been.

3. Don't wait until someone you know and love dies to catch up with the important people from your past. I have had two wonderful evenings of conversations this week with high school friends that I haven't seen for more than a decade. They were important in your life when you were a kid, and they probably are still. Keep those you love in your circle.

4. Don't keep stuff that isn't important. My granny, God rest her, was a major league pack rat, and it will take weeks to sort through it all. If you don't need it, and it's not of important sentimental value to you...give it away!

5. Take the time to make that extra weekly phone call or send another card or letter. My grandmother lived to be 91, which wasn't nearly long enough to know her well. The years went by too quickly, and before I knew it she was gone. With her passing, I am feeling the burden of full adult responsibility for the first time in my life. I now know how much she did for so many people, and what she gave up to be who she was. Growing up isn't easy, especially if you wait until you're 44 to get started.

No comments: