by Tina Mitchell Skinner Founder and CEO, Brain Tumour Support
Last week was Remember a Charity Week and it brought to mind when my husband and I discussed our wills. We were both only 35 years old and had just been told he had a brain tumour.
I realised very quickly that there were so many extra things to consider alongside his surgery and oncology care. It felt as if the emotional side to his illness was something I had to deal with alone, and then of course there were the practical issues of a life ahead as a widow. As the months went by and the realisation dawned that his life was being cut short, we knew we would have to have some difficult conversations.
How was I going to cope financially, practically, emotionally and with a five-year-old son, who was too young to comprehend the enormity of what was soon to happen in our world?
Those are the difficult conversations I’m talking about, those real hard hitting reality conversations. “Are you going to be okay when I’m gone?” “How will you manage financially?” “What’s going to happen?”
“We should visit our solicitor and finalise our wills,” he said.
That was probably the most difficult conversation we had with our solicitor, all the discussions around who should benefit, where his money should go, what would happen to John if anything happened to me, things that neither of us wanted to talk about. We were both so young and we most certainly didn’t think we should be talking about such things, but actually upon reflection years later, why shouldn’t we? Okay, none of us expect to die young, but what is wrong with preparing for the future? If there is one thing I have learned from our experience it is that our life on earth is short, and we should all live each day as if it’s our last.
Making a will made my life less stressful financially after Paul had died and provided us with a more structured security with our finances, it allowed us to talk together openly and honestly about our money, how it should be spent, how we should be providing for John in the future.
Yes, those are difficult conversations, and yet it is those conversations that can be left too late.
Paul’s legacy has left me with so much more than just financial security. It has left me with the motivation to see more families affected by a brain tumour supported and it has also left me with the ability to talk more openly about life after death of a loved one.