R.A.Koyama

Live Well, Live Happy, Live Long

Tag: family

It Ain’t Over ’til its Over – dying is not the end

When I write it ain’t over, it’s because I often write about death and dying, but not in the normal sense.

 

 

Coffee and a friend to share it with

 

Grab a coffee and let's chat about life!

Grab a coffee and let’s chat about life!

 

 

I don’t believe in being morbid but I do believe in people being ready for the end. And those that aren’t are usually the ones for whom death is unexpected. A sudden illness, an accident or catastrophe befall them. And while I much of what I write speak to the older generation it applies all of who are getting older.

 

There is much to done before we go.

The book is a guide to help you clean your house before you go so your kids won’t have to once you’re gone. For me, that is some of what  Leavings my new book speaks to.

That was the gist of my most recent book.  But if you haven’t seen it you can get it here.

When I write that dying is not the end I am not preaching about the meaning of death, I am writing about what and who you leave behind. This is what I prefer to focus on and what you are going to find the book I am currently writing for very specific reasons. Some of that you can read in this Post.

We all leave something when we go I hope to help you leave a lasting legacy.  I do have my reasons and are mostly related to my own family experiences.  While most of my family has passed what I learned from their living and passing is what often write in my books and in my blogs.  The sister blog to this one www.healthywealthyaging.com is where I share some of the things that do not make it into my books.  Here is a link to one of the relevant posts.

There is so much to write about living and grow old and hope to make the journey a pleasant and meaningful one.  I hope you will join me in the discussion.

And I would love to share one of my free short book with you for doing so.

The book is Learn how to be happy, just click HERE to get your free copy.

 

 

 

Aging conjures up thought of Leavings

 

Death is not the end when you consider what you are leaving behind

 

 

Wistful Sky

Wistful Sky

Most of us consider dying as the end and true it is the end of our lives, but it isn’t the END. The vast majority of us leave something behind. That leavings may be family, friends or some other legacy. Sure we think about leaving something behind in the form of insurance.

Just watch TV for a while, and you will no doubt see ads showing families talking how they feel so sorry for the other family who was having a hard time paying for their loved one’s funeral. The message is you need to have insurance; that is what you leave behind and if you don’t then your death is not the end but the start of a financial struggle for those you left behind. And I think it is true, that each of us at a minimum has the responsibility to have enough insurance to cover whatever bills and costs are left when we go.

 

But that is not all there is to dying.

 

Sure dying isn’t good for any of us. But the only person that death is the end for is YOU. Once you’re gone, you’re gone, end of the story – For YOU.

 

What we leave behind can be good or bad, I want to focus on the good.

I believe we live at the most wonderful time ever!  There is so much we can leave behind that will be wonderful and most of all make people happier than we could ever have done at any other time in our lives.  Of course, when we go, there is the immediate feeling of sadness, but after the initial pain, there is so much we can leave them with that can help them get over it sooner.

 

So for those of us who have not lived in isolation, our death is not the end. We have family, and friends to whom our death means more than just us being gone. I believe we can do more to lessen the effect of our death and to make our death something that helps them in their life more fully. I am not speaking of tangible things. We all leave things behind, what I am talking about is our essence. What is the essence of ourselves that we leave behind?

 

I am reminded of my granddaughter and even my children who always had this blanket or stuffy toy they could not go sleep without.  I remember their panic if it could not be found.  And I also recall their answer when asked why they need it so much, why wouldn’t another stuffy or blanket do?  The answer was; it smelledLike you or Mommy or like home, and that was what helped them calm down or go to sleep.

 

 

sleeping child

 

What we leave behind is the topic of my next book  titled Leavings, you can get a feel for the content by reading a recent post on the topic by clicking here  LEAVINGS’

Well, when it is our time to go to sleep what will we leave with them to go to sleep?   I know for our kids now in their 40’s their most trusted soothers have now gone.  The blanket at one point disintegrated in the wash.  That stuffy has lost all of its’ inners and the outer somewhere along the way.  So what will they have to soothe them, and make no mistake no matter how old they get they will need something of us to help them through life.

 

How much do you think about what you will leave behind?

When we are in our 50’s unless we have had some serious illness or someone close to us has died, I would guess there is no thought given to what will be left behind when you are gone.

When we reach our 60’s our thoughts turn to our life and possible death. But beyond the tangible, we need to leave how much consideration do we give to what of US we will leave behind.

 

So I ask you when that final door closes what of YOU will you to leave behind?

 

Be sure to stay tuned for LEAVINGS

 

In the meantime, you might want to pick up the latest book titled Clean Your House Before You Go.

 

Dealing with Family treasures

Make sure Family Treasures are more than just STUFF

 

well loved but the need has faded

Dying is the last thing most of want to think of let alone talk about, but there are just somethings that need considering.  Some of those things are what I wrote about in my newest book A guide to dealing with family treasures so your kids won’t have to – Clean your house before you go.

 

No, the book isn’t all doom and gloom about dying and who gets what.  Well, there is a little of that but mostly is it about getting rid of all the baggage and stuff we accumulate over a hopefully long life.  The younger we are, and when I say younger I’m thinking under 70, when we do this the easier it is and will be for everyone.  Just to give you and idea on what need looking after here is a short chapter from the book:

Your beloved, treasured Antiques are now just old stuff

Older isn’t necessarily Better

 

Now on to the wonderful days of garage sales, where you found a once coveted lace table cloth.  If you were once one of those happy individuals, it’s time to give up old habits.  I have on our property a Sea Can full of antiques and garage sale finds that an old friend asked us to keep when she moved out of the country.  What she hoped would be her stash for cash when she needed it has become an albatross around her neck.  She finds there is no longer a market for it.  In addition, where we live out in cow country with nary a neighbor for miles nor a place where garage sales are held, she has little hope for making a killing on it.  As we are now making plans to move to a smaller house closer to the city, she is challenged to find a way of getting rid of it from afar.

 

Another thing for you to remember is that if the desire for antiques is declining, and I know in some places it is not, but in general they are, what will the kids who may not have room for them do?  There comes that guilt again. They will have already gone through whatever guilt comes with losing a loved one, and now those feelings will return.  It is far easier for us to think that someone will want and cherish the family heirlooms.  In some place, they most definitely still do; the question is, will they have a place for it?

Minimalism Is In

 

Look at some of the designer magazines or even some of the house flipping shows.  Most have clean, sleek lines with no oversized bulging china cabinets.  Showcases have been replaced with stylish display shelves that won’t hold a collection of heavy vases or porcelain dolls.  Some looks don’t include dressers, as they opt for closets with built-ins and sliding doors behind which are rods and drawers all neatly placed.

 

Perhaps, it is the time to rethink our way of living.  Minimalism doesn’t mean doing without, and since we do less of what we used to do, regarding entertaining, minimizing just a little shouldn’t be too much of a burden.

 

Home sized matters

 

If you or your family live in a big city, where homes are small and condos are even tinier, space is at a premium.  Most of the furniture we had is now way too big to fit in these places.

For storage, there simply is none.  When you think about what you are saving for the kids, keep these things in mind.  There is a lot more to leave behind than just stuff.  Check out my article on Leavings.

 

 

 

Leavings’

As I write my next book – Clean Your House Before You Leave– I wonder about what it is  that we should leave.  We all leave something behind, good or bad.  I am sure we all wish that what we do leave behind is good and something others will value.

The age old consideration of what you leave behind is good memories.  Memories of you that your family hold close to their hearts.  Well if that is the case then perhaps we should start to cultivate those memories so that will grow and out live us.

With the busy lives we all live at times it is diffucult for us to even consider what our Leavings’ will or could be.  Our kids are gown and have their own busy lives.  Our grandchildren also have so much going on that just find a time in their busy schedule is next to impossible.

I am reminded of this and what we will leave behind because I feel that some where along the way my granddaughter have cultivated an almost private type relationship.  A relationship that I hope will be a leaving she will cherish.

 

The picture may be a little out of date and blurry but it reminds of her looking back into the sun to see if I was still there.  Hopefully she will feel I always!cropped-SAM_0633-e1448483860323.jpg

She doesn’t live close to us and getting to see her is a challenge, so we have to use the telephone as our method of communicating.  Which may not seem like much on the surface.   How can a telephone call leave much in the way of memories?  Heck we talk on the phone and half of what we talk about is forgotten the minute we hang up.

And that is probably true, what is different with my Granddaughter is that I have become her chore time partner.  Like many children she has things she is responsible for doing at home, clean her room, fold her laundry, take the dog for a walk, sweep the floor and the list goes on. Since she doesn’t like doing those things alone, she calls Grandma and with the phone on handsfree we talk.  Well a lot of times I just listen as she goes on about her day, her friends, her school.  We even discuss what her Mom did at her age, what I did at her age.  So the conversation provides me with updates on her life and of course all the things she thinks her parents are being unfair about.  My job here is just to let her vent and not take sides. Somewhere in the conversation I attempt to help her see things from a different perspective, being careful not impose my own thoughts  on her.

In addition to those topics of conversation we talk about my family.  Since I was 14 years younger than my closest sibling most of them a have already left us.  She is naturally curious about them and what my life was like growing up as pretty much an only child.  She herself is an only child as is her mother and this piques her curiosity even more.

My point here is that with these long conversations I am hoping that my leavings’ will be the memory of these conversations. Not necessarily the conversations or even what we talked but just the memory of her being able to call Grandma when ever she was bored, or when she had to do mundane chores and just knowing I would be there for her.  And for me the memory that she called me!

These are My Leavings’, and perhaps the topic of another book!

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