On February 23rd this year I will be celebrating my 47th Birthday. I’ve been dreading this one for a while. Not dread really, but anxious about the overwhelming emotions I know I will experience. Four days after my birthday, I will have lived as long as my dad.
I have thought of this day often since I was 19 years old. What would I feel like at 47? Would I feel old? Would I feel—if something happened to me—that I had lived a long life? Would I feel like I’ve done and accomplished all that I had hoped to on this earth? The answers are all no.
My died dad of a massive heart attack. I still remember his fiancée recounting the story to me as if it were yesterday. She came home early that Friday after picking up balloons and his cake for his birthday party that evening. My dad was in the living room floor. Holding his chest. Holding his bottle of nitroglycerin. Frothing at the mouth. Scared.
That Friday I was working in my college library and was excited about that evening. My roommate, Chrissy, and I had planned a girl’s night out. We would go to our favorite Mexican restaurant and then come back and watch our favorite TV show, “America’s Most Wanted,” while braiding each other’s hair.
When I got to my dorm room, Chrissy told me that my mom called and that I needed to call her back. “My mom never calls!” I shouted excitedly. As I started dialing our other friend said, “I shouldn’t be here.” They abruptly left the room right as my mom answered the phone.
It was a conversation I was not expecting. It was a conversation I was not prepared for. Silence. Sadness. Shock. Emptiness. Tears.
That day affected me in so many ways. Even today as I write this I’m crying. Uncontrollably to be honest. There will always be pain in loss. And there will always be life after death. Those that are left must figure out how to keep living without their loved one. It’s hard. Some days are really hard.
I know I am an estate planning attorney because of that day. I have this burning need to help other dads and moms prepare to make it easier for their kids. The loss itself is already hard enough. It doesn’t have to be compounded with probate and other issues. I know this personally.
So I await my birthday with trepidation. Along with the milestone I will reach on February 28th—47 years, 5 days.
I’m Still Breathing.
If you are interested in taking steps to protect your children and grandchildren, please contact our office at 480-497-3770 or check out our website for more information and educational videos at www.GilbertLawOffice.com. Our mission is to have honest conversations to guide you through important decisions and life events.