Life and death have always seemed like epic issues to me, grand, sweeping themes to which only lofty literature can do justice. Life is not so lofty, however, when you live it day to day. Turns out, neither is death. My Susan and I talk about death all the time now, and sometimes it feels profane. These days it's just another subject, like the bills, visions for the back yard or plans for the kids' college. It's a logistical factor, and we don't know when it will happen but we general figure that things more than a few months away will be things I'll have to deal with. It worries all of us, the prospect that I'll have to deal with things. Susan and the kids worry about it, I can tell. I know I do. It will be like Lord of the Flies. There won't be any proper adults around to make sure the society of our household doesn't collapse into primitive chaos, like cave people or frat brothers. Why? For example: I've never paid a bill. That might be literally true. If not, it's close. I'm 40 years old and I've never paid a bill or looked at a bank statement. Susan is the grownup at our house. She always has been. The kids are getting close, so maybe they can teach me a thing or two.
You see? This might be morbid or maudlin, but it's how we think around our home these days. Talking about such practicalities is stark, and it was a little galling at first, but it's how we live together for the time we have. Susan needs to know that everything will be alright, that I can handle enough of the things she handles today. So, we talk about it. How do we pay the bills? How do we track the budget? What are the accounts we owe and where is our money? How do we help the kids through college? Don't get me wrong, though, we cannot talk about everything. We do not talk about the really sad things, like weddings and grandchildren and what it will be like in the morning when she's not…
Well, like I said, we don't talk about that. We discuss income tax and property tax. What will we do with her car? She'd like to pay off certain things with the life insurance. Here's what to do with her clothes. Make sure I update my will and the trusts. The caulk in the shower should be redone every few years. The carpet downstairs should be replaced. The important papers are here and here and here.
Hello, friends. I hope you're well.