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On Death and Money

Updated: Apr 22

“I shall not die of a cold. I shall die of having lived.”Willa Cather

This week, two individuals close to my heart, died. Richard left us on Easter Sunday. That same day, Debbie was ready to go. She left us a few days later, curled in her daughter's arms, mere hours after Richard was buried against a backdrop of torrential rain, wind, and brutal cold.

In both cases, their deaths are mourned by many whose lives were impacted by who they were, how they lived, and what they cared about. Now, in their absence, we're called to reflect on that impact, and what it means to absorb their legacy -- to consider what their deaths will teach us about our living.

death and money

Death and Money

One of the things that death brings into focus is the role of money in a life. It's a reason why the second principle of Positive Money is about the beliefs and behaviors we have around money that we inherit and pass along.

In Richard and Debbie's case, each lived a rich life focused on their values, friendships, and community even as they lived at opposite ends of the economic spectrum (lawyer and childcare provider). Each worked hard to be financially secure, provide, and ensure that their children were cared for. One of the last things Debbie said to me in tears was, "I just want [my daughter] to be ok. That's all I care about now." As a single mom, this was always at the top of her list. As a result, she was financially responsible, clear about her priorities, and lived life to the fullest within those parameters. The same was true of Richard, just at a different scale.

If I come away with anything this week, it's a reminder of what matters most. Sure, money is a critical resource and one to be taken care of, especially when it comes to peace of mind when we pass. Yes, we should do everything we can to be good stewards and take actions that help our loved ones manage our financial affairs. And, how we live financially today will be part of the story others will tell when we're gone.

The question is, what story will they tell about you?

P.S. If you want to help your loved ones find your critical financial documents, make it easy by purchasing a Next of Kin or NokBox at this link. I also offer a 30-day Challenge to complete your own. Check out upcoming dates.


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