When my dad passed away almost three years ago, there was a steep learning curve for handling “the business of dying.” I’ve started a blog post to share lessons learned several times, but never finished it. I finally decided to sit down at the microphone with my friend Wendy Pope. Wendy also walked through caring for aging parents as they physically declined and eventually navigated both of their deaths.
Today’s episode is a little different. Wendy and I are both authors and speakers, but not today in this episode. Today we’re coming to you as two women who have had at least one parent pass away. We’re sharing openly about our experience and the details we wish we would have known in caring for them and managing their death. We’re also sharing with you things you can do NOW to help those who will come behind you someday.
Losing a loved one is an experience that all of us will experience at some point in our lives. After Wendy and I recently recorded a podcast episode on the topic of one of her books, we really connected over our experiences of caring for and then losing a parent, and we felt it was important to share what we learned in a podcast episode that can support others so they might be able to be better prepared. That’s our hope for you. We hope this conversation is a practical support to you so you can have conversations, put together details, and be more prepared for caring for a loved one who needs help as they age and ultimately handling a loved one’s move to heaven (or preparing your own family for your move to heaven).
In this episode, you’ll hear:
- Details that you should try to know before you care for and lose a parent
- Logistical details you should get in order now to make it easier on your loved ones before your own move to heaven
- Unexpected things we learned after losing our parent(s)
- What an “everything book” is and how you can create one
- Practical information like how many death certificates you should plan to have
- How to proactively prepare your own adult kids before your passing
This is one of the longer episodes I’ll share on the podcast, as it’s very important to us that we provided an in-depth resource for you on such an important topic. I hope this is a practical support for you! This also may be an episode that’s good to bookmark and revisit in the future.
Resources mentioned in this episode:
- Connecting with God Everyday with Wendy Pope | Episode 82
- The National Council on Aging
- Download the Password/Budget/Insurance Spreadsheet Template: Password-Budget-Insurance-Spreadsheet.xlsx
- Wendy’s Website
- How to Make an Everything Binder Blog Post
- Follow Wendy on Instagram and Facebook
- As a thank you for listening, get your 3 free eBooks!
My Key Takeaways:
1) Know where all the important papers are located. I highly recommend creating an “everything book” with any and all paperwork, passwords, and medical directives inside. These are things that you will need and oftentimes are hard to find! Make sure you have the titles to any vehicles, insurance policies, health insurance, life insurance, medicare, prepaid burial information, burial plot information, bank records, power of attorney, medical power of attorney, financial investments, will, living will, end of life directives, and passwords. If you or your parents don’t have any of these documents, schedule some time with a lawyer that can help you draw them up.
2) Have tough conversations early. If you’ve ever had to care for an aging parent or know the burden of having to make decisions without having those tough conversations early, you know how important this is. Talk with your aging parents about what their wishes are and how they want to live out the rest of their days on this earth. Maybe, like Wendy, you want to come up with some questions to help you have those conversations regularly. For Wendy, she regularly asked her parents, “Are you safe? Are you healthy? Are you okay financially?”
3) Teach your kids how to grieve. We often want to hide our grief to protect our children from experiencing heartache too early. However, we need to show our children in an age-appropriate way that grief is okay. Let your children see you grieve and through that learn how to process loss. The way they see us grieve will help them have the tools to process it themselves.
Wendy Pope is an author, speaker, and the Founder and President of Word Up Ministries. Her ministry’s focus is helping others learn God’s Word, live it, and love it. Wendy is down-to-earth and transparent and her teaching style reflects her personality as she speaks directly to women’s hearts. She is the author of five books including Wait and See: Finding Peace in God’s Pauses and Pains and Jesus Everlasting: Leaning on Our Counselor, Defender, Father, and Friend. Wendy is a mother to two grown children and lives in Monroe, NC with her husband, Scott, and their Boykin Spaniel named Maxie. Learn more at https://wendypope.org/ —
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