By: Ileana T. Swanson
In his song “Superstition,” the great Stevie Wonder shares a brilliant nugget of wisdom about that little thing called black magic: “When you believe in things that you don’t understand, then you suffer; superstition ain’t the way.”
Some people believe that if you say or do something superstitious, something bad will happen to you. Others think that if you share your life’s good fortune with your friends, family and co-workers, you will jinx yourself and end up losing your happiness. This may sound like child’s play; however, you may be surprised at how many men and women across the globe live their lives with some form of superstition affecting what they do, what they say and how they view their world.
One of the most-dodged conversation topics among families and friends is death: how we feel about it, what our wishes are, and how we are going to plan for it. It’s not an easy thing to talk about, and most of our avoidance stems from a deep-seated fear and superstition that, if we talk about it, death will come knocking at our door. Whether we are living with aging parents or beginning to age ourselves, we may not want to think about end-of-life care, estate planning, funeral arrangements or last wishes because we consider discussing these issues to be not only ominous, but also improper or rude. But what we don’t realize is that when we allow these phobias to take control of us, they prevent us from taking care of some very important financial matters and ensuring our families are looked after when we are gone.
The mere thought of making the appropriate preparations for death may seem overwhelming and arduous. Families go through many changes over the years, including marriage, divorce, birth of children, death of loved ones or loss of communication with relatives. Life in today’s world is busy, full of information that is coming at us at the speed of light. Daily responsibilities can cause us to put some things on the back burner, and oftentimes the things we put aside are the very same things that need our attention the most.
So how can you or your elderly loved one get started on making these important plans and choosing beneficiaries? Sometimes it’s difficult to know where to even begin. Start out by taking a deep breath and asking yourself and/or your loved one a few questions. These will help begin this much-needed conversation:
When you’re trying to help an elderly family member get their affairs in order, offering to assist them in any way can make a huge positive impact on their perspective. Remember: Know your audience, which is your loved one. The following suggestions may help build that verbal bridge of understanding:
When those close to us are reassured that what we are doing and saying is for their benefit and that our concern is coming from a good place, they usually welcome us in.
The content provided in this blog consists of the opinions and ideas of the author alone and should be used for information purposes only. VyStar Credit Union disclaims any liability for decisions you make based on the information provided.