Thursday, July 29, 2010

If I Could Write An Article for Brides or Newlyweds

I was only married in the traditional sense for six very short months.
Six months after planning a fabulous wedding, I was planning my husband's funeral.
I was asked questions about what Roger would have wanted in death.
Organ donation.
Keeping him alive for an extended about of time.
Or taking him off life support.
Questions that I mostly knew the answers to but I surely wish Roger and I had discussed things a bit more.

In the last two years, I have emailed a few wedding planning sites trying to get them to put something on their sites or magazines.
Even a wedding planner.
No one responds.
No one wants to think about the dark side of marriage.

In my mind, even before Roger died, being engaged was more than just planning a wedding.
It was planning a life together.
It was more than just the first day but days 2 through the end.
But couples should even talk the last days.

If I could advice brides and grooms, I would ask them to think ahead.
Way ahead.
Couples should discuss their preferences in the event of something horrible happening.
Ventilator or not?
Brain dead?
Organ donation?
Cremation or burial?

I am not saying plan the funeral details but think about it.
Think about the vow "till death do us part."
So the remaining soul will need to deal with the death part.

Just five minutes.
To think.
To discuss.


jrose35 said...

Hi Star. Me and my husband have talked about what we want if something horrible does happen to either us and we know our wishes now. It just came up one time and I was so glad we had the talk. Thank you for getting this topic out there I wish more newlyweds would talk about this it is so important. We now have a daughter and I want to make sure all my affairs are in order so she will be taken care of.

Crash Course Widow said...

Good point. People should think about it, and talk about. Many people were surprised we already had life insurance when Charley died; we were so young, we'd only just gotten married, blah blah blah. We did it because I was pregnant and, like with changing my names on accounts and putting his name on the title to our house, because it was something that was on the checklist of responsible, marital things to do. Thank god we did.

And we'd also talked a lot about what we wanted--or didn't want. Partially it was because of the Terry Schiavo case, which was plastered on the news that spring before he died, but also because Charley's grandmother started dying that spring. I've always been so incredibly grateful that I knew 100% what Charley wanted. But a lot of newly married couples--hell, even long-married couples--don't know.

That's too bad that no one responded. But I can't say I'm terribly surprised. Saddened, but not surprised. I bet the only person who would respond would be an insurance agent, and that would likely be because she/he might gain potential customers.

I'm so sorry all you got was six months. And I'm sorry that all I got was 19 months. It's not fair, and it's not right, for either of us.

Hugs, my karmic twin friend. ;o)

Jen said...

What a perfect post. You are so right. I am so sorry you were in the position to ever have to make those decisions.

We had to do the same and those are days that I cannot even believe we survived.

Creamated and scattered over Lake husband knows! of course there is much, much more!

The scary thing is, I always thought I would know exactly what to do, and until faced with it, I realized I had not a clue. It's crazy how many different aspects, factors, and opinions one must weed through.

I had hoped for black and white in our situation and was graciously told, these situations are never black and white.

I thought, how is it that WE are supposed to make a life and death decision for another human being. That just didn't seem right.

I have rambled on and on and I'm sorry.

You are amazing and I love reading your blog. You have come so far and I wanted to thank you for sharing so honestly.

Chelle said...

Hi Star - I am a wedding planner and I think what you suggested was great. I would love to go over sometime whet you think would be helpful to include. I could possibly put a link on my website or include a checklist or document that you could maybe help create. Let me know what you think - I couldn't agree more that it is a very necessary and scary part of marriage...but so much better to have knowledge of in case it happens to you.

Thanks for your thoughts and your courage :)


Mars Girl said...

Star - totally agree. My husband and I kind of discussed it, but not as fully as we maybe should have. We were only married 20 months; I'm sure we would have eventually had a full-length discussion on it. As it is, I had to do a lot of guess work based on similar conversations we'd had... and his parents were exactly happy with my decisions.

I tell people all the time to make sure they discuss these issues. I encourage them to write a will as well so that there's no question where whatever funds you have belong (some of my husband's family members wanted to, and did, con me out of some of his insurance money claiming that he would have given them some). And, if necessary, write a living will... I hate to rain on people's parade, but I tell them all time...