Saturday, 9 December 2017

Organise to minimise pain

My dear dad passed away last Monday. It wasn't unexpected; it wasn't even un-wished-for, in the saddest sense. He had started to show signs of dementia in around 2011, went into a care home in 2013, and in effect we had said goodbye to my father many years ago. For four years he had been increasingly vegetative, immobile and (mercifully) asleep.

He was a systematic, pragmatic, organised soul; no prizes for guessing where I got it from. As I have for some years handled all financial affairs under a Legal Power of Attorney for both of my parents, I have all their paperwork, some of which is in an old metal hanging-file box that lives under my desk. Dad loved figures and paperwork, and would spend happy hours reconciling his bank statements (he viewed it in the same way as Sudoku and crossword puzzles); he liked to know where things were and where he stood.

When, two days ago, I needed to go to the registrar, the check list suggested I take various documents. They were all in the metal box. NHS card: check. Birth certificate: check. Marriage certificate: check. The lovely registrar thanked me for making his job so easy.

As I caught my breath, waiting in the car to meet my husband after the registrar's visit and before clearing my father's room at the home, I took this photograph of the three civil registration certificates that spanned my father's life.


When I later messaged the photo across to my sister (who lives in Spain) she replied "I'd be impressed if they were the originals." I replied "They are."

My point about this post is that I have enough to deal with at the moment: my own emotions (grief + relief), caring for my bereaved mother, arranging the funeral, notifying friends and relations and authorities. For this task to be made so much easier due to my father's careful, clutter-free systems, and my own instinct for organisation, is a blessed relief.

This applies to everything we do. When life throws us a curve-ball - and we know how often that happens - you need all the resources you can get. If the basic processes of your life are running smoothly, you can focus your attention on dealing with a crisis.

Don't wait. Let me help you to sort those papers, clear that clutter, achieve that calm; so that whenever your own particular curve-ball hits, you'll have just a bit more fuel in the tank to come through.

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