May 19, 2010

If You Died, Who Would Take Care Of Your Children

This may be a recycled post but it is an incredibly important topic and something that hasn't been resolved in my home. Last year two friends died leaving behind more than two widowers- they left four children. Four children lost their mothers- a stark reminder that things happen.

So again I find myself confronting this issue, trying to figure out what should happen if the worst came about. Somewhat coincidentally I stumbled onto Bruce Feiler's book, or should I say a review of it and well, here I am.

Tonight I am going to go lie in bed and try to figure out what to do. Tonight I'll close my eyes and consider who I can ask and who I want to look out for the children. It is so very hard because no one will love or take care of them in the same manner as their parents, but that cannot prevent us from making hard choices.

Anyway, the text below is from the original post. Not much has changed since then, not necessarily because of lack of effort either, but that is a different tale.
If you ever want to kill a conversation. If you ever want to change the tone into something more somber and muted ask a parent if they have made plans for where the children would live if something happened to them.

It is a frightening topic. It is a hard topic. It is uncomfortable to consider what would happen to your children if they were to lose their parents. It is painful to think about a future in which you do not participate.

It is a discussion that you have to have. As a parent you have to take the time to consider all of the angles. If the worst happens, who gets the kids. Who do you trust to raise them. If the worst happens is there someone who can provide for them. Is there is friend or family member who you can rely upon to take care of your children.

Will they respect your wishes and impart the same values upon them that you would. And assuming that you have someone in mind that you would like to act as a surrogate parent, will they be capable of taking this responsibility on.

One of my sisters and I recently spent time talking about this. We live on opposite coasts. She is on the Frigid East and I am out here in the Sunny West. Neither one of us is likely to pick up and move any time soon so if anything happened there is a good chance that the kids would find that their worlds had been turned upside down in every possible way.

Of course this is only a hypothetical, a worst case scenario that we hope never develops into any sort of twisted reality.

But you know the old saying, people plan and G-d laughs. As we head into another new year I ask again to be given the opportunity to see my job through. At a minimum I need another 100 years or so.

I'd like to meet my great-grandchildren. Is that so much to ask for.

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