Writing a will is one of those things I know I’m supposed to do as a responsible adult. I’ve pondered it off and on a few times in the past, but the Navy Yard shooting last week got me thinking that perhaps I’m not actually invulnerable and that it was time to actually sit down and put pen to paper.
On the advice of counsel, I’ve started conducting an item by item inventory and deciding if there’s anything of significance I want to account for specifically. What I’ve discovered during this process is that while I have a house full of random crap that I’ve accumulated over the last 35 years, there’s not much in it that would mean a thing to anyone else. For the most part the house is full of objects that are sentimental to me personally, but don’t necessarily have much real world value. There are a few items that have a very specific final destination when I’m finished with them – a few trinkets and shiny baubles, a bit of furniture hand built by a grandfather I never met, and other odds and ends that should find their way to a good home eventually. Those bits were easy enough to tick off and allocate in what seemed like an appropriately fair way.
What I’ve actually spent the most time considering is the disposition of whatever animals I might have when I shuffle off the stage for the last time. While I’m certainly planning on outliving both Maggie and Winston, it seems reasonable to assume at this point that there will always be dogs in my household. There’s also the issue of a Russian tortoise named George who could very easily be around a few decades after I’ve begun my career as a daisy pusher. I don’t think I’m going to cash out and leave everything to the critters, but it’s safe to say that there’s going to be a provision that accounts for their health and wellbeing in my absence.
Your own mortality is a ponderous thing to spend any serious amount of time considering. I know it’s the right thing to do, but so far the effort has left me with more questions than answers… and everyone can guess how I feel about such ill-defined murkiness. It seems that the best one can manage under the circumstances is stating their druthers and then hoping someone actually follows through with them. Of course the up side is that by the time any of this is particularly important, I’ll simply be too dead to care what happens anyway.
I suppose it sounds a touch morbid, but I have to admit I find it strangely comforting to know the circus will go on even if I’m no longer part of the big show.