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This doesn't seem to fit anywhere, so I thought I'd leave it here. I lost a neighbor the other day in a tragic accident in the White Mountains of NH. I worked closely with this man over the past two years as we shared responsibility for overseeing a certain aspect of our homeowners association. A friend? Not in the true sense, but someone I could turn to at any time? Absolutely! He was giving and selfless and a true leader. The announcement of his death this past Monday morning hit me like a ton of bricks, so sudden and wrenching was the news. He'd gone missing the night before, apparently trapped in a storm on the mountain and didn't survive. We in the community who knew him are devastated. So today my wife and I wrestled with what to say to his family. We brought over some pastries and talked with the man's adult son at the door, then offered our help in whatever way we could. Their dog came to the door to greet us, and we knew that our neighbor's wife always walked "Brady", so we offered instead. He gratefully took us up on the offer and off we went. It helped to know that we were doing something positive to help his family. My wife now puts herself in the widow's shoes, fearing how she'd cope were I to suddenly leave this earth. I worry about it. 

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1 hour ago, PhotoGuy said:

It helped to know that we were doing something positive to help his family.

I'm so sorry for your loss ~ and I think your offering to help (in a most tangible and useful way) is wonderful.

1 hour ago, PhotoGuy said:

My wife now puts herself in the widow's shoes, fearing how she'd cope were I to suddenly leave this earth. I worry about it.

This sudden and unexpected tragedy can become for you and your wife the impetus you may need to open an ongoing discussion about your own mortality and what you might do as a couple and as a family to plan ahead. Too many of us avoid such topics and live to regret it later. ❤️

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44 minutes ago, MartyT said:

I'm so sorry for your loss ~ and I think your offering to help (in a most tangible and useful way) is wonderful.

This sudden and unexpected tragedy can become for you and your wife the impetus you may need to open an ongoing discussion about your own mortality and what you might do as a couple and as a family to plan ahead. Too many of us avoid such topics and live to regret it later. ❤️

When we moved here I was comforted by the knowledge that my wife would be well looked after by such a kind and caring group of neighbors. We really do rally around one another, but it's the grief she would experience that I really worry about. I fear she would not be able to handle it. I have no doubt that the men here would help her in any way possible, and so would the women in terms of emotional support, but in those moments when she'd be alone, I worry how she'd fare. I recall years ago after we had to put our dog down how much that impacted her emotionally for a long time. She has joked about how I'd be fine were she to predecease me, (I'm not so sure) because I process things differently. I'm very self sufficient. She's not wired that way. Can one ever really prepare their significant other for the possibility of being alone?

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4 hours ago, PhotoGuy said:

Can one ever really prepare their significant other for the possibility of being alone?

While we cannot avoid the pain that loss may bring, there are many things a couple can do to prepare themselves for the reality that one day, one of them may die. In this article, for example, the author lists the following:

  • Create a will, living will and power of attorney.
  • Research and purchase the appropriate life insurance policy.
  • Have financial information in order, like budgets.
  • Create a savings plan to cover emergencies.
  • Keep track of online accounts and passwords.
  • Make sure there is a list of emergency contacts.
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I am so sorry for the loss of your neighbor/friend.

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9 hours ago, kayc said:

I am so sorry for the loss of your neighbor/friend.

Thanks very much. It's not so much that I'm grieving, but his death has impacting me in other ways, more specifically it's a reminder of my own mortality. He was a year older than me. He was married to the same woman for a long time, just as I have been. He had retired and was enjoying his life here in a new community. All of this brings it a little too close to home and I find I'm dwelling on it a lot. I find myself worrying about leaving my spouse one day. Strangely, I don't worry about her leaving before me, even though I know it would hit me very hard. It's just sad. I found myself on the verge of tears tonight.

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