Sew Some Nets

Contributor: Kristen Milligan, Inheritance of Hope Co-Founder
Kristen Milligan, Co-Founder of Inheritance of Hope, was diagnosed with a rare terminal liver cancer in 2003. She passed away in October of 2012. Leaving behind a husband and three small children, she had thoughtfully prepared for her legacy to live on. Among those plans were requests she made for her funeral. In this series, Kristen shares why that was important for her to do and how it also brought her comfort. 
A letter from Kristen Milligan…

While we are raising our children, the last thing we want to consider is our death. It is far too important that we remain here to care for our family! However, if you are like me, you have been forced to consider this possibility the moment you were diagnosed with a life-threatening illness. The illness does not seem to care that we are raising children. Some of us, I am sure, are far too busy fighting to stay alive to worry about planning a funeral.  

In fact, wouldn’t planning a funeral admit that we have given up on the fight?  For me, it has been quite the opposite. I have found comfort in the fact that my funeral and the accompanying details have been handled. I even wrote a letter for my memorial service. This is one burden I believe I can handle for my family, so they will not have to do it themselves. If this is something you might want to tackle, I am going to share with you a few things to think about. You might make some notes for your family, so they know your wishes, or you might want to set everything up yourself. I was amazed at all I could plan not knowing if I would be here for months or for decades.
What follows are suggestions that were given to Inheritance of Hope by professionals as the most important things that must be handled after the death of a loved one. I will list them, and I will add my own thoughts. 
I know this is a difficult topic to think about, I really do. Randy Pausch, the author of The Last Lecture, and a young parent who passed away from pancreatic cancer, once said about his terminal illness: “Someone’s going to push my family off a cliff pretty soon, and I won’t be there to catch them .... But I have some time to sew some nets to cushion the fall so that seems like the best and highest use of my time, and I better get to work.” I believe these suggestions are one small way to sew those nets for your family. May God bless you in your net-building.