Final Exit—Are You Ready?

– L. Arthalia Cravin

I hate to write columns such as this. I don’t like to think about not being in this realm we call life. But, we all know that one day we will take our final breath and “fly away” as the old folks used to say. So why this column?

Well, every year I review my Last Will and Testament just to make sure that it is up to date with my current wishes. I did that over the past weekend and had to make major changes. I know, and most of us know, that we need to leave some type of dispositional instrument or directive behind. We know that, but the truth is that most people just don’t want to deal with all the details of death and dying. Most people have an, “I’ll get around to it later” or, “my kids know what to do” attitude. What if you are like me and never had any kids, then what? Well, my husband is not good with too many details so I wrote everything down, including “bury me in that navy blue pin-striped suit and pink blouse hanging near the middle of the closet in the bedroom next to the two-piece black dress with the gold trim at the neckline that’s hanging next to a brown two piece pants suit that’s hanging near a white two piece suit.” You get my drift.

I settled “salvation matters” in 1981 when I accepted Jesus Christ as my personal savior, so I’m not fretting in that area. I know the “born again” experience. I have experienced that awesome enduing of the Holy Spirit. Still, the thought of experiencing some “other” reality—or lack of reality– of the only realm I have ever known is not exactly welcoming. It’s like folk who say they want to go to heaven but don’t want to die—or at least die right now. When I was a teenager I had a morbid fear of death. I would often lie in bed at night with my hands folded across my chest, similar to deceased persons I had seen, and I would hold my breath trying to imagine what death would be like. I cried lot thinking about death. I never wanted to be in the state of dead. I finally stopped tormenting myself about dying. But as we get older, and especially as I see the generation before me moving out, I know that sooner or later I will also move up and move out. As T. D. Jakes would say, “Get Ready, Get Ready, Get Ready.” I’m in no hurry but I know I need to “Get Ready.”

Back to final matters. Do you have a Will or Trust? Do you know what you want done with “your stuff?” Have you left instructions for what you want done with your “human remains”—funeral or no funeral, cremation or burial, where you are to be buried, where life insurance policies are, where other vital information is located, access to bank account information, safe deposit boxes, money hid in mattresses, passwords to online accounts, car titles, deeds to real estate, who gets your jewelry, who gets your money, who gets the clock on the wall? Who gets YOU??

Well, enough said.

Copyright 2012 – L. Arthalia Cravin. All rights Reserved. No part of this commentary may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without written permission from the author.

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  1. avatar leigh cravin says:

    Please consult an attorney about what is called “Holographic wills” in Texas that generally allow a person to write their will in their own handwriting. Or you can do a general google search of “Holographic Wills in Texas” and see what results you get. Best you run it by your attorney to be completely informed of your legal rights and other issues that you may not be aware of. Thanks

  2. avatar Debra says:

    Is it considered as a legal will if you hand write it and sign before a notary?