Death. And life.

I will not talk about what so many of us need to talk about this week. I just can’t. Instead, I’m going to talk around it.

Please make sure you have all of your end of life documents in order. Make sure there is a person who will make decisions for you if you can’t. Know that you need someone for finances and someone for health care. They can be the same, but you need different forms. Please make sure any important decisions are written explicitly in your will. Make sure you choose…right now and in writing…who will care for your children if you go before they’re grown.

There are attorneys to do this, and there is software. Make sure everything is in writing. Right this minute. Today. You know why. I’ve already said I’m not going to talk about it.

Did you know that 19 people a day die waiting for an organ? Only 50% of Americans are organ donors. Maybe you haven’t gotten around to registering. Maybe you are creeped out thinking of bits of you or your loved one or your child inside another person. Organ donation only happens after you’re already dead. After your loved one is gone. After your child is no more. And the choice to take parts of your loved one and give them to someone who would otherwise die is a gift that salvages hope out of death. The gift of life is one of the most generous you can make, and it beats back darkness with a pulsing, shining ray of light.

Please donate your organs. Promise to donate their organs. Nineteen people a day could live from your gift. That is how we help. That is how tragedies become about giving life rather than taking it. First responders are heroes, we say, because they often ensure life in the face of death. People who stand tall in the face of a loved one’s death and give someone else a piece of that life they will desperately miss are heroes. Because they, too, give life to someone who would otherwise fade away.

But don’t wait until you hear the news nobody ever wants to hear. Think about it, weigh your options, then Go. Right this minute. Write your will, dot your Is and cross your Ts. Designate durable power to those you trust. And vow to give your organs after your death so others can live.

Thinking about it right now is important.  Take a deep breath and consider the logistics of your death, your loved ones’ deaths, and your children’s deaths. And may you never have to think about the latter ever again. Ever.

That doesn’t completely circumnavigate the issue. But that’s as good as I can do, walking respectfully around an issue that I cannot write.

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