Since beginning my walk down this long, misty path and receiving an official diagnosis of LBD, my wife and I have basically assumed that I will be the first to go. After all, we’re still in our 50’s, theoretically we still have a lot of years, but with the average life expectancy after diagnosis of LBD being around 7 years (last good estimation I saw) the odds are I don’t.
But the past couple of springs have caused us to question our assumptions. My wife has rheumatoid arthritis and is taking some serious meds to control it. One of the major side effects of these meds is to cause the pt to be immuno compromised. Due to this immuno compromise, a normal infection, the flu one year and a rotavirus the next, put her in the hospital for over a week each time. With the flu, she eventually wound up in sepsis. She was lucky to survive that one.
So naturally, being the contemplative people that we are, it didn’t take us long to consider that the freak bug/virus could cause my wife to be the first to go so easily. Knowing that I have been given an expiration date so to speak, we have gotten our legal affairs in order and even bought burial plots. But we had not gotten around to the funeral planning. Just seemed like the last hurdle that kept eluding us. But the fragility of her situation made us understand we needed to correct this. It is not a burden we want to leave to the other or to our kids. Been there, done that. It’s horrible and I’m going spare those around me that hardship if at all possible.
So, a few days ago, we made an appointment and visited the preneeds department of our local funeral home. I won’t bore you or creep you out with the minutiae of that visit but suffice it to say that it wasn’t nearly as bad as I had been dreading and, in the end, it was actually a relief. We now have a tentative plan with several options. We need to give some serious consideration to those options and make final decisions but we are nearing the end of the process. And it feels good. That will be something we no longer have to worry about, it won’t be left for one of us to do for the other at the worst of times, nor will the kids have to make those unimaginable decisions at a time when your mind is numb. It’s the right thing to do.