It’s time to get it done.
Over the past couple of weeks I have had the opportunity to interview women who farm that share one thing in common…they are widows.
Farming was something that these women always did alongside their husbands, for their entire married life. The farm helped to define their relationship and served as the steadfast platform that kept them intact as a couple.
Working every day together, they grew to compliment each other, handling the things on the farm that each excelled at. They watched the farm business grow; through scorching droughts and rains that they thought would never end. In good farm economy and bad they raised their children, fixed equipment, planted and harvested their crops, nurtured their livestock, and grew together.
These women told me stories of how they met their spouses, and how farming was an integral cornerstone of their lives together.
I laughed, and I also wanted to cry at their stories, at the testaments of the lives that they shared together.
Maybe I too felt a twinge of melancholy.
As time marched on each one of the women told me how they could anticipate their partners next move. How helpful it was to watch their husbands walk across the barnyard during the late afternoon, it whispered to them the mood that would walk through the summer kitchen door for dinner.
But the one thing that each of these women could not anticipate, after their years of being married and working side by side, was the grief that would come when their lifetime partner and confidante passed away. They did not know how hard it was going to be to pick up the reins alone and manage the farm.
Why I bring all of this up is that I wanted to share something, before the entire article that I have been charged to write is finished, before all of what I listened to is processed.
It was something that was pulled to the surface in each of the interviews that I conducted–and I did not want to wait to share this, because it is too important.
I will be blunt, because I know that if you have been waffling, and putting this off this might be the only way to get your attention and inspire you into action.
You must financially prepare for death.
Life Insurance. Will. Trusts. Lawyer. Do it. Now.
This is a topic that is painful, and hard to think about. Maybe you haven’t done anything about it because it makes you realize how little you think you have to plan with.
Trust me, you have more than you think you do. And you must start somewhere, no matter how old or young you are whether you have a farm, work with farmers, or just support agriculture.
Each of the women that I spoke with, in her own way, wanted to make sure for me to share how important it is to get the finances figured out to other women, before they are in the throes of grief.
Prepare and plan with a team how you want things to look and will look in the event of a death or disability.
For the sake of your children, your parents, nephews, nieces, in-laws, friends, and MOST importantly for the sake of YOU. You owe it to yourself.
Please, if I can be the impetus of one you to go get the plan done, or to start this difficult conversation then I will have accomplished my mission, and the reason for giving you a glimpse of an article that is percolating will not go by the wayside in silence.
Take care and stay well.