A Gift for Your Family

This is not meant to be a downer, but it needs to be discussed again.

Recently, I lost a couple of long term friends.
One died suddenly of a heart attack and one after a long valiant fight with cancer.

The deaths were entirely different, and both individuals had prepared differently.

My friend, Cheryl, just died and didn’t show up for work. Her family had to scramble to put things together.

My other friend and a mentor, Don Bailey, knew he was dying and had prepared his entire final arrangements. While battling prostate cancer, he purchased my book; Farewell, My Friend, as his guide to preparing his final arrangements.

Don’s memorial service was classy and well planned. His wife and daughters were composed and serene. They HAD BEEN PREPARED.

The last words from this former Navy aircraft electrician were,

“My prayer is that I have made a positive difference in those lives that I have touched. I have made my final landing; the hanger doors are closed, and I will sleep well knowing that I did my best.”

It was a perfect statement for Don and gave all of us a certain amount of comfort.

Getting ahead of all of this will not cause you to die any sooner than you are going to. Believe it or not, it will give you a certain sense of personal peace.

As I have stated before, here in my column or in one of my many presentations, YOU preparing your final arrangements and making your wishes known is a GIFT that you give to your family.

Now…are you in a giving mood?

Photo Credit: Iglesia en Valladolid Flickr via Compfight cc

Categories: Friends + FamilyWomen's Issues + Awareness

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Beatrice Bailey

Beatrice Bailey was born and raised in Davenport, Iowa to a Baptist minister father and a mother who was a gospel recording artist. She has three sisters and one brother. She attended the University of Iowa and graduated with a BA in Psychology from California State University, Sacramento. Retired since 2004 from management positions with both the Xerox Corporation and the State of California, Bea now conducts customized seminars on “Budgeting for the Not So Rich and Famous”, “Putting the Puzzle Pieces Together…The Ultimate Balancing Act,” as well as interview techniques entitled, “Selling the Sizzle and Not the Steak.” In addition, she is an active member of St. Paul Baptist Church in Sacramento, CA, where she is an Adult Sunday School teacher. Bea has been a Head Feature Writer for Senior Magazine of Northern California. She also writes a monthly newspaper column entitled, “Uniquely Bea” Currently, she has authored a best-selling book, entitled, "Farewell, My Friend” and is conducting presentations and book signings throughout the United States and Mexico. "Radio Luz,” a Spanish Speaking Christian Radio Station, has interviewed her multiple times. Bea also was selected to be included in a book by The Author’s Show, as one of the "50 Outstanding Writers You Should Be Reading”. Bea has produced and hosted a new innovative television show, “A-Z with Bea”, which aired in November 2009 on RCCTV, Sacramento, CA. Bea is active at St. Paul Baptist Church and is an Adult Sunday school Teacher, and a Small Accountability Group Leader. She is a member of Kaiser’s Bio-Ethics Committee and on the Board of Advisors for the East Lawn Corporation. Recently, she has been asked to participate as a speaker with the Black Health Today national organization. To relax, Bea likes to work out at the gym, walk, knit, paint, sew, cook, garden, and read. Traveling within the United States, Mexico, Asia, the Caribbean, South America and Europe is one of Bea’s true passions. She has two adult children, one “bonus son”, five wonderful grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. She resides in Northern California.

  1. Thank you. This is both touching and convincing. Not a downer at all. I write about grief and lead bereavement groups with hospice. When there is preparation ahead, family and friends can do the inner work of grief. We’ll all cross the wide waters to the other shore, so anything we do to help those who love us is worth doing.

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