On the other hand, is it ‘On the Inside Looking Out’?
In the past, when I asked potential clients if they had prepared a Will, about two thirds responded by saying something like ‘Oh yes, we have everything in order’, and the other half said ‘Oh no, it is much too early to think about that, I am not planning to go yet!’ I suspect most of the first group said they had Wills as an easy response to avoid further discussion, but the second group are burying their head in the sand.
Of course, as a Willwriter I always recommend everyone prepare a Will. However, a recent personal experience made me realise that the group ‘burying their head in the sand’ must take this more seriously.
Normally, it takes time and careful consideration to make sure a Will is prepared correctly, ideally with the help of a professional, but definitely without pressure or influence from external factors.
The last place to be thinking about your Will is from a hospital bed whilst worrying about whether you are going to survive following a serious illness or accident!
I recently experienced this exact situation. Staring through fearful and tearful eyes at the bright hospital ceiling lights following a sudden, unsuspected and very unwelcome heart attack. I felt panic set in. I could not believe this was happening to me, and wondered if I would survive. I was face to face with my mortality and rapidly focussing my mind.
My thoughts drifted between my family, my friends, all the places still to visit, the many things still to do with my life, the people to meet, ambitions to achieve and dreams to fulfil; I was not ready to die!!!!
Lying on a bed in resuss connected to life-saving machines and breathing pure oxygen at 4am is not the place to think about a Will. I felt as if I was on the ‘outside looking in’, or was it the ‘inside looking out’?
For the record, my Will is safely stored away and I am comfortable with its contents. However, I did wonder how my family would organise my funeral and I made a mental note to consider leaving a few clues about my own ‘funeral wishes’. I was not ready to leave my life, and decided to direct my positive conscious efforts into recovering from this very alien experience.
I never expected a heart attack. In fact, my lifestyle led me to believe I was minimising the risk of ever having one. Throughout my life, I have kept fit, healthy, never smoked and thought I had eaten the right foods. I like the odd pint of beer but always believed in moderation in everything. Never have I experienced chest pains, hot sweats, dizziness or shortness of breath. Consequently, I found this situation unbelievable and constantly asked myself the question: WHY ME? There was, and still is, no definite answers. For goodness sake I ran a 5 kilometre road race the day before all this happened. I was’not planning on going just yet’; just like the group that bury their heads in the sand.
Inevitably, I thought about my Willwriting business. After all, I have bills to pay like everyone else. I had a curious thought that a cardiac hospital ward might be a great place to introduce myself as a Willwriter and sign up some new clients. However, at the time, I did not think this was very amusing, although I did wonder how many of my fellow patients were wishing they had prepared their Wills.
A cardiac ward is the last place to be thinking about your Will as you lie there on the outside looking in, or is it the inside looking out?
The last few weeks have been, and continue to be, the worst of my life. I am extremely grateful to the staff at Royal Oldham Hospital, the Silver Heart unit at Bury’s Fairfield Hospital and the cardiac team and nursing staff at Manchester Royal Infirmary. Their skill, dedication and care is very special. They are working in very difficult circumstances: somehow, they make people better with limited resources and a system that appears to conspire against them. Every one of them is very special, and I owe my life to them; literally.
Think about this; have you made out your Will, or do you still believe you will live forever and continue to bury your head in the sand?