First a funeral, then the will

Well the plans are started and we have talked through a range of things that we agree has to be done so that we can both move on and we can both make the most of the time we have with each other. Strangely it wasn’t as bad as I thought it might be, I had been expecting that both of us would have been sat there in tears and unable to move in any direction. Don’t get me wrong, there were tears, from both of us and at many different stages for many different reasons, but there was also calm and understanding. We have decided that we are going to find a lawyer to draw up both our wills as it is actually quite a complicated will to draw up. Clearly I am not going to leave Adam in the position that he would have to sell the flat, his home, to clear the amount required so that my wishes can then be fulfilled. Nor am I going to force him to live here if he should wish to move else where, so the value of my share will be locked at that time until he dies. But should he meet someone then sell his flat to move to a shared home, well at that point the remainder of my will would be actioned at that point. That is the easy bit. The more we looked at it, the more the if’s and buts appeared, it is strange and complex process, not the for the little bits and pieces but for the major things. To this point we had never really thought about it like most people, it seemed really simple, what could possibly be difficult, you die the money moves on. One big no no, especially as I know from experience families are funny things, you may believe you know them totally, but then someone dies and they turn into creatures you wouldn’t want to meet in your worst nightmare. My family are like the monster end all the time, so imagine meeting the really monstrous side.

Adams mother had used a lawyer to sort out many bit’s and pieces when her mother died and seemed to be quiet proficient. I also know that my friend Jake also has a family lawyer who helped him through both of the deaths of his parents, we are going to get the numbers for both and I am also going to speak to a few other lawyers who are local just to find out their cost for drawing up a will. It seems like everything else in life or death cost money, so I expect to find their charges vary wildly. I am not sure how you gauge a lawyer other than by word of mouth but what if you don’t have enough of those to make a fair decision. Once the original will is completed, I am aware that it may well need to be changed and tweaked a few times, but that’s just life, it changes all the time. I didn’t realise until the brief conversation the other week and even more so after last night, but Adam had been worrying for years that he would be left sat on the pavement and homeless. He had somehow got it into his head that the house would have to be sold when I died, just so my half could be paid over there and then. I can’t believe that he would even think that way, but then I realised that many family’s would hold the same fear as well. Second, third and so on marriages, mean there are children all over the place, either blood, adopted or just living with them, just because they don’t share your blood, doesn’t mean you love them any less. I think you would have to be magician to keep everyone happy and to avoid any face to face fights. We at least don’t have those situations to deal with, but I can see now how Adam thought he wouldn’t just loose me, he would loose everything.

Then came the funeral. Neither of us actually have any experience in what it costs or how we can go about it. I had though before that one of those over 50 plans might be a good idea, without looking I can’t be a 100% on this but I have heard it is easy to very quickly to have paid in more than it will pay out. I have heard before that funeral parlours now actually run their own scheme and you only pay for the real cost, it also means that I get to plan it. I said that I didn’t want anything special, the most basic of basic, but as we talked I realise that a funeral isn’t actually about me, it’s about those I leave behind. I still don’t want anything big, just a cremation and then for half my ashes to be taken to Aberdeen and either quietly spread, as it’s bound to be cheaper then interning them would be on my son Jeffery’s grave. The other half is up to Adam, he can leave them all in Aberdeen if that is his wish, or here in Glasgow, as a focus should he need it.

Many would see this next step as part of my funeral and it is I suppose. I had never been really happy with Jeffery’s grave stone, it a small piece of granite with a polished heart filling the center, with his details on it. The actually stone doesn’t stand up, it is rested at an angle with a wedge behind it so it doesn’t actually touch the earth. At the time it was all we could afford and although I have been the several times since he died, I have never had the money to change his stone. As part of all this I want a new stone with both our details on it, I promised to him when he died he wasn’t alone for ever, I would be with him. Adam has all the documents so it’s easy to do.

The whole process of talking about my own death, was I think for Adam harder than it was for me, he has feared for years that he would come home from work to find me dead. He can’t accept the fact that he will move on, there will be a life for him after me. I can only talk from my view point when Jeffery died, it took time and a lot of tears at all kind of inappropriate times. I haven’t forgotten him and I cry frequently but I moved on, I carried on living, just as I know Adam will. He kept telling me that he would never find another partner and I kept telling him he would. Opening up a field of subjects that most run away from, has at least for me made it all so much easier to talk about and that is a really good thing. We both know that there are still things to be talked through, I no longer feel like I am playing hide and seek with him. For as long as it takes to set up all of this, we have to be able to talk without this impossibly high wall of feelings in the way.

So we have made the first steps and there are still many more, some all ready written down, so once the first steps are cleared we can look at the next. For yesterday that was enough, we took it as far as we were comfortable with, there will be other times and once talked about, like almost everything else, I will write about.