This is a Really Real Widow Post.
But this isn’t at all one of my typical widow posts. It’s more important than that.
One of the reasons that Wonder Woman is so great for me is because she doesn’t flinch when my really dark widow humor slips out.
And last night my filter didn’t engage quick enough and I let a joke slip out that even shocked me. Thinking it doesn’t shock me. I think really dark jokes about death all of the time, but I try not to say them.
But Wonder Woman didn’t flinch.
Even telling people I’m a widow makes a lot of people flinch.
Bringing up the fact that I saw Parker after she died makes people really uncomfortable.
It even makes me uncomfortable to type it because I know it’s going to make others uncomfortable to read it.
But why does death make us so uncomfortable?
Why don’t we talk about it?
Every single one of us is going to experience it at some point. We are all going to die. None of us is going to make it out alive.
And we’re going to leave behind a bunch of people who have to figure out what we want done with our remains, and how we want to be remembered.
I never really got to talk to Parker about what she actually wanted to have happen after she died. There was no advanced directive, no will, nothing in writing, no real plans for what to do. Did she want a somber funeral, or a celebration of life? Did she want to be known as her birth name, or her chosen name?
Don’t you want to have some say in what happens after you die?
Without even getting into the topic of dignity in death (which I feel very strongly about), we need to be having more conversations about death.
Advanced directives are more than just some passing thing that the doctors office asks you about because they need to check off a box. They are important, they don’t take that long to fill out, and they will give your family so much information about your final wishes should something happen.
And something could happen, right now, today, and who is going to be left struggling to figure out what to do?
If I didn’t have an advanced directive, my 18 year old son would be in charge of deciding what to do. My 18 year old would have to make the decisions if I were brain dead tomorrow. I can’t imagine putting that on his shoulders, but people do it every. single. day. because they don’t take the time to fill out the paperwork that protects their young adult children.
I’ve taken the time to fill out a document that named how I want my remains handled. Where I want my ashes spread, how I want my celebration of life held. It names when they can “pull the plug.” Who in my family gets to make decisions for me, and who they should consult.
It takes the weight off of the shoulders of a bunch of people who are grieving heavily because they just found out I’m dead or badly injured.
Don’t keep putting it off. Don’t say you’ll do it tomorrow or next week. And if you do, put it on the calendar.
Here are the forms for Maryland and they work in some other states as well (check your local laws). In Maryland, you don’t need a lawyer, just fill them out and have 2 people witness you signing them.
Click to access adirective.pdf
Please do this.
Talk about death.
You aren’t getting out alive.