I hope that reading this article will make you think and do that unpleasant death conversation and you will write “What if” scenario. So that if worst happens this scenario will be your go-to. Saying that, I hope it will just stay a scenario.
So, You are in a loving relationship, you and your partner have no health issues, life is good, you are eating a healthy diet, children are healthy, you are not even close to 50. Why should you talk about “what if I die” scenario? It’s bleak topic, and not gonna happen for at least 40-50 years…
I thought that. But then just 3 weeks after my husband created this website for me, he suddenly died. He was taken to hospital with food poisoning, and died six days later after emergency heart surgery… Nobody and nothing could have prepared me for this. Left with 3 children, homeschooling mom, without main provider, with every paperwork under the sun and bills piling up…
Please remember that death:
- always comes as a surprise
- knocks you down and leaves you barely able to function physically
- throws you in a state of shock – makes you unable to think clearly
- is especially hard on homeschooling parents
Death Always Comes As A Surprise.
What I mean is, you can’t be fully prepared for someones passing. Even when your loved one has been sick for a while, you still have your hopes and dreams and intentions up until you hear that horrible “patient passed away”. In case of “unexpected death” – car accident, accident at work, violence, it’s just simply unbelievable. Trust me, you have no clue what to do.
My husband was in a hospital for 6 days. I spoke with him before his surgery, I didn’t say “I love you” because I was speaking on doctors phone in the middle of the night, and I knew that my husband will be all right. He was young, 41, he was strong and healthy. Everything was going well according to heart surgery recovery. He was getting a bit better day by day. Me and my sons were very hopeful, but then, the classic soap opera scenario – his parents went into the ICU to find his bed empty…
When you receive news like this, you are just left in disbelief, in complete state of shock, you can not understand what has happened. You can’t comprehend what people are telling you. You are not crying, you are just thinking “this is not true”, “there is some kind of mistake”, “how can I tell this to children”, “what am I going to do”, “I can’t do this alone”, “this is not happening”. You have to get through the state of shock to start thinking rationally.
This state of shock can last for few days. But in most countries you have to start dealing with practical stuff, like preparing for funereal, right away. That’s when Your “what if” list comes very handy, because you don’t have to figure out all the details, they are written down for you. And trust me, when you are dealing with a loss of your spouse, every thought about death and funeral is causing you physical pain.
I was so lucky to have my husbands father and brother to take care of funeral stuff. Honestly I don’t think I would have been able to manage three kids, cooking, cleaning, shopping and organizing funeral. I didn’t even want to attend it!
Your New Situation Knocks Life Out Of You.
What’s even worse that shock, it’s the lack of energy. Your brain doesn’t work. But then you feel that everyday tasks – like cooking, shopping, teaching your kids, just takes unimaginable strength out of you.
So now you have your brain all foggy, and adding to that lack of physical strength to do anything, makes organizing things really tough. That’s where written down “what if” scenario comes in handy again. It’s not about being weak. Or being lazy. If you haven’t lost a really close person, you do not know how this feels.
I’m a very strong person. So I could not believe how exhausting first month of grief was. I was taking nap every day, going to bed at 20.30, and feeling too exhausted to cook or clean the house. I was too exhausted to spend time with my kids too. They were living in cartoons, games and YouTube for a month.
Every Homeschooling Parents Nightmare.
Loosing a life partner is tough for everyone. But especially on homeschooling parent. Usually responsibilities in a homeschooling family are divided – 90 or 100% educating is on mom, 90-100% earning income is on dad. So, in any case the the loss of partner means total change of your life and your role in life. No one wants their kids to loose a parent and their life as they know it. Can you imagine what that would do to a kid – loosing parent and going to school?
Not because school is a horrible place, but because for a homeschooled child it would mean an end to his life as he knows it, totally.
That means that as a widowed homeschooling parent, you have to deal with your trauma of loosing a partner, loosing a life you had, loosing part of your identity, comforting children, organizing funeral, but now having to learn stuff you haven’t done before, and trying to realize all the dull everyday stuff, that you haven’t been dealing with before. This is the part where the “what if” scenario is unbelievably helpful. You don’t have to go through e-mails and bank statements (nobody has them anymore because everything is online) and what not to find some kind of bill popping up here and there.
My husband was the one paying the bills and the one who was 90% driving force of our business. Now I was left to find out about out finances, the piling bills, and I was left to realize that I have to build new business for myself, if I want to be able to homeschool my kids and work from home and support them financially. I wish I had “what if” scenario made for me to use. It would have helped me to deal with many stressful situations during the hardest first month after the death of my husband of 20 years.
Things To Write In Your What If Scenario:
Here I will list few things that I know would have been really helpful for me.
- cremation or traditional burial.
- In case of cremation – what do you want to do with the ashes
- the burial outfit the theme of funeral
- food, restaurant, music
- What to do with your things? It’s amazing if you have a last will, but what about everyday things like clothing, bike, laptop.
- Maybe there is a favorite charity you want to donate your clothes to?
- list of monthly expenses – bills, approx amount for food, gas etc.
- If that is at all possible (and even if it’s not) save some “emergency pillow” preferably the amount of 3 month income to help your family in case of any kind of emergency.
4 Technical stuff:
- list of passwords you might need to wifi, netflix, laptop etc.
- IP address understandable scheme of the computer network – kids laptops and phones, clouds, alexas etc. basically everything that only you know how to do – explain it.
- info about your car
5 Letter to kids:
- Yes, you might have to update it every few years, but it means a world to kids.
I know this article is not sunny and empowering, but trust me, it’s very helpful to have “what if” scenario when it happens.
It happened to me out of the blue. I was left unprepared, in disbelief, unable to think straight. I would have loved to have my husbands “what if scenario” to help me to go through the darkest moment of my life.
Please have this conversation. Write down your list! Writing it down will not kill your spouse. But in case of unimaginable, this list will help you.
If you want to help my family, you are more than welcomed to. My husbands brothers wife has created this account to help me financially during this tough time. So if you feel calling to help, me and my family we’ll really appreciate it. https://www.gofundme.com/f/sandris-gravans-memorial-of-a-creative-soul?utm_source=customer&utm_medium=copy_link&utm_campaign=m_pd+share-sheet
In case You are wondering how am I doing with building my business on my own, while homeschooling kids – you can follow me on Instagram and facebook– homeschoolingreality, themomscoach, grieving-consciously