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Sunday, March 22, 2009

Death ... and Life

I've been away from my blog longer than usual, as I was out of town for funeral services after my aunt died suddenly earlier this month. She was only 50, and she was murdered. She leaves behind a grieving husband (they were married 24 years) and nine children, ages 6 to 20. I loved my aunt and I am heartbroken for her family and deeply saddened for our extended family, who will dearly miss the love and joy she brought to our family.

It hardly seems real that she is gone. I suppose death, when unexpected, is like that: it happens so quickly with such finality that the mind has trouble catching up with what happened. It's been a couple weeks now since I got the phone call that my Aunt Renee was dead, but my shock has only just begun to lessen, even as raw sadness takes its place.

My Aunt Renee's untimely death has really impressed a few things on me, and I wanted to share two of those thoughts with you, my fellow work at home moms, freelance writers and online entrepreneurs. I hope it doesn't seem callous to talk about things of a practical nature when someone has just died. But the reality is, life keeps moving.

Make a "love drawer" for your family.

Like many moms, my Aunt Renee paid the bills and managed the finances for her family. She took care of collecting rents from their rental properties and making sure mortgages were paid. Basically, she did it all. In my family, I manage our online bill paying, debt reduction plan, and also earn an income that is primarily online. I have a system, but it's all in my head -- nothing is written down. Renee was the same way, and her sudden death leaves her devastated husband with the task of figuring out what bills are due when on top of everything else. Dave Ramsey encourages his listeners to make a "Love Drawer" for the spouse or family members you leave behind. In it should be your will, final instructions, insurance policy information, and everything your spouse needs to carry on should something happen to you. I need to do this, like, yesterday. In addition to all the bill paying, I have a couple PayPal accounts where residual earnings would keep on arriving, and affiliates who would still need to be be paid for their sales if I died .... point is, I need everything spelled out in writing, and I also want to take the time to go over it with my husband.

Be there for your children.
As work at home moms, we're always there for our children, right? I mean, we're here practically 24/7, they wake up to us being there and see us during the day or after school, and we tuck them in at night. But let me share with you ... my Aunt Renee had an amazing ability of truly being present for her children. I want to be like that, too. Her untimely death made me take notice; her lovely life gave me the inspiration. Too many times I'm staring at a computer screen while the kids ask me questions. I am making a huge effort to get my writing done in the wee hours of the morning or after they are in bed, so I can really be there for them during these young years of their lives. My aunt Renee was a work at home mom, too, first as a daycare owner in Alaska and then as a therapist and horsewoman in TN. Still, she put her kids first. I will, too.

My Aunt Renee loved life -- she brought fun wherever she went. She loved my uncle, she loved being a mom, and she loved her farm. She will be missed terribly, even as we remember her with joy in our sorrow.

18 comments:

CherrineB said...

Good morning,

Sorry about your aunt's death. It is a shock to the system when a person dies suddenly in an accident but murder. Please accept my prays for your family.

Brenda said...

Maria...I'm so sorry for your lost... {{{Hugs}}}

I like the idea of a Love Drawer...I also do all the bill paying and everything else and I do most of it online. Hubs has no idea where or how any of it works...I think I'm going to spend the rest of the day getting that in order for him...

Hugs...

Julia W said...

I'm so sorry.It must be a terrible time for you and your family.

Hollie said...

I am so sorry for the passing of your aunt. You and your family are in my thoughts.

Gayle McLaughlin said...

Maria--I am so sorry you lost your aunt in such an untimely way. My prayers go out to you and your family. I lost a nephew in a horrific car wreck two weeks ago, so I can sympathize with sudden loss. Coachmac4--Gayle

ibu,mommy,mom... said...

I am a silent reader of your blog.
I am so sorry to read about your aunts death.

Donna said...

Sorry about your aunt...how horrible. Prayers for you and your family. We lost my uncle two weeks ago to cancer so our family is grieving too.

Donna

WWAHHMpreneur said...

This really broke my heart and made me cry.

God bless you and your family at this time.

May He bring you deep comfort and bond your family in even greater unity.

jsevenup said...

So sorry for your pain, Maria... life is so fragile and so precious.

I will keep you and her family in prayer.

Very inspiring article and good advice, thanks dear :).. God Bless and keep you during this hard time.

JoAnne

imommy said...

Hi Maria,
I am very sorry to hear about your Aunt's death. Death catches everybody off-guard, and I think nobody gets used to it. I think it is very appropriate to write about it on your blog. It shows that you are human and a real person with real thoughts and real feelings. You offered some very good tips, including the Love Drawer.

I pray God will strengthen your family over the next few months.

God Bless.
-Ilene

hot-topics said...

Maria, I'm very sorry to hear about your Aunt's death.

I know how it feels to lose a family member without any notice and it is not a good feeling.

I hope you are coping alright and that you and your family are able to get through this together.

Best wishes

Ryan (From infobarrel)

Maria said...

Thank you all, so very much, for your very kind thoughts, prayers and well wishes.

My uncle mentioned that the outpouring of care and concern from family, friends, acquaintances and strangers let him know that there would be better times ahead.

Thank you.

David said...

Maria, so sorry to read about this. Even in the midst of saddness, it's important to remember the practical side of getting on with life. Your post is very valuable that way, something I'll take to heart.

All the best,

David

traffic said...

sorry to hear that..

Lynn said...

I am very sorry for your loss. I know it must be a very hard time for you. You mentioned the "love drawer" that Dave Ramsey talks about. I listen to him as well, but have never heard that before. It is a wonderful idea. I appreciate you sharing that.
Again, my condolences.

Athlyn @ Write and Earn a Living said...

How very tragic.

And it is far more tragic that such a loved woman was taken from her family via a murder.

The loss must be hard to reconcile but choosing to use her good life example, in a way, makes her contribution to this life, live on.

Jules said...

My best wishes to you and all of your aunt's family. How sad and shocking and I'm sure frustrating...

MomWhoWrites said...

I am so sorry to hear about your loss. Unexpected or expected it never is easy I am just glad that your aunt got to experience such a loving family when she was here... Take care of yourself and those babies...