As a relatively younger woman (ok …in my 40’s, but that is all I am saying!), I certainly do not spend a lot of time thinking about my own mortality. And yes, I DO battle sarcoidosis every single day, but I refuse to let this disease dictate my spirit of life and love. So when my friends started talking about planning their wills, I was at first shocked and then slightly repulsed, to be honest. Why would someone want to be thinking about that yet?
But then one of my friends told a story about how when her own dad planned his will, he allocated some money to a charity he loved that supported disease research, not a huge amount, but enough. And she said that ironically, 30 years later long after his death, she was diagnosed with the exact disease that the dedicated charity supported. Her father’s bequest, after his death, supported the very program she used at that charity to help her access care.
Now I recognize that some might think this story has a bit of a “Hallmark card” feel – but whether it is good karma, good luck, or incredible coincidence, it got me to thinking about affecting good change beyond my own life. I realized that yes, someday I will be gone, but I can still have a positive effect on helping patients who are travelling the same journey with sarcoidosis. There is a wonderful sense of purpose behind being able to offer help and hope regardless of whether I am present or not.
So that is what I did – I prepared my will, which everyone should do, to purposely provide direction for my assets. I felt a certain sense of freedom and strength in supporting a cause, in my case the Foundation of Sarcoidosis Research, far beyond my own direct needs. The steps were easy – I learned the options from the FSR website, talked to the Foundation on making sure my donation was allocated how I wished, and indicated so in my will accordingly. I left a legacy that makes me feel inspired within the full life I have in front of me!