Subject: Are You Ready To Die?
Welcome to Celebrating the Journey!
Wednesday, October 31, 2001
Issue #75


1. Welcome Notes
2. Are You Ready To Die?
3. Coaching: What, Who, How, Where
5. Wisdom for the Journey
6. Celebrating Out Loud!
7. Resources for the Journey
8. Humor: The Nut Tree

1. Welcome Notes

It is a gray and stormy day here with low clouds scudding
across the hills, spitting rain at windy intervals. A fitting
day for Halloween as ghosts and goblins, some friendly,
some not, make themselves known to us.

A hearty Halloween welcome to our new subscribers. I
send you each a special piece of virtual candy, delicious
and completely without calories! Even as I prepare to take
a 2-month sabbatical, our family grows. I will repeat below
the announcement I made last week concerning CTJ and
the next couple of months. You have 2 issues to go before
I go into the land of internet scarcity. Happy Halloween!

On November 18, I am beginning a couple of months
celebrating my own journey with some exciting personal
development work. I will be at The Esalen Institute on Big
Sur for a month and then in Death Valley for a period of
time. Neither place has internet access so publishing CTJ
during that time will be impossible.

You will receive 2 more regularly scheduled issues, with
the last arriving on November 14. There will be no
scheduled issues between then and late January. It is my
intention to surprise you with a couple of unscheduled
goodies during that time. We shall see where and when
the Universe presents me with internet access.

I hope you will choose to maintain your subscription. I
will return to weekly publication in January with a
renewed spirit and lots of new stories, tips, giggles and
celebrations to share with you. You need do nothing to
receive that first issue of 2002.

If you do wish to unsubscribe at this time, hit your reply
button and enter, “Unsubscribe please” in the subject line.
I hope you’ll stay.

2. Are You Ready To Die?

I had a cancer scare last week. It’s over now, and the test
results were all negative which is a great blessing. When I
called to talk with my sister about it, she, in a direct and
practical manner, asked, “Where’s all the information
about what we should do if you die?”

After I swallowed and took a breath, we talked about the
fact that my will is not up to date, I have not written down
who I’d like to be notified or what I’d like to happen. In
short, I realized that, in a logistical sense, I am not ready to
die. Are you?

I am talking logistics here, not the spiritual, emotional or
even intellectual preparation for death. That is a whole
other topic, several topics in fact. This is purely a physical
world issue.

Our death will deeply affect the loved ones we leave
behind. We cannot change that. We CAN avoid adding
logistical difficulties to their already profound challenges.
As we have learned so harshly, we simply don’t know
what will happen today or tomorrow or next week. It is
easy when we’re young and healthy – or older and healthy
– to not take the steps that prepare for our death. No
matter how young or old we are, or how healthy we may
be, doing this preparation is an important part of the
process of our lives.

Leaving our affairs in order and clear instructions for our
loved ones, is a generous act of giving. Celebrate your
journey of life by creating the documents that will ease the
process of your passing for those who are left behind.

3. Coaching: What, Who, How, Where

These are the 4 questions that loved ones are faced with
when someone dies. Providing the answers for them
eases their path and allows the honoring of your passing
to be as you would like it.

The hardest part of the process is making the
commitment to answer the questions. For many of us,
facing our own death on any level is frightening. The
process itself is not difficult. Taking that first step may be. I
propose that we take that step together.

As a Life Coach, I make big requests of my clients. They are
homework, of a sort. I have a request for each of us,
including myself:

I request that we each have some version of the answers
to these 4 questions complete by January 16, 2002, when
CTJ will emerge from hiatus. The questions are:

Who do we notify?
How do we handle the service and the remains?
What happens to the estate?
Where do we find all the information?

Do you accept the request? I do. If you do, let me know by
sending an email to We
can do this process together.

Okay, so you’ve made the commitment. Now what? Here
are some ideas to get you started.

1. Who do we notify?

Who are your closest friends?
Who in your family lives outside your home town?
Which newspapers will print your obituary?
Who is your lawyer?
Who is the executor of your will?
What businesses (credit card companies, etc.) need to

This list will contain names and phone numbers, at least.
Addresses are a good idea.

2. How do we handle the service and the remains?

Will you be buried or cremated?
What professionals will be handling the process?
Where will your remains be put to rest?
Where would you like your memorial service?
Who will preside at the service?
What music do you want played?
Who would you like to speak?

This is your chance to orchestrate how your life will be

3. What happens to the estate?

Create a will

I am not a legal expert, and none of this is legal advice.
They are merely ideas.

A will can be anything from a document prepared by a
lawyer to instructions written on a napkin. However…

A self-created will is more likely to be contested by anyone
who doesn’t like what it says.

Having a lawyer prepare a will is the most foolproof
method for having your estate handled in the way you

There are many resources on the internet and a number
of different software programs to help you prepare your
own will, if you choose to do that. (See Resources for the
Journey below).

Using available forms or software to write your own will
can be an economical way to produce the document and at
the same time they are more “contestable”.

Using those resources and then having a lawyer go over
the resulting document can be a great compromise.

Create a living will to deal with medical issues.

4. Where do we find all the information?

Let them know before they need to know.

Let several trusted friends or family members know
where the original documents are kept.

Provide copies of all documents to your lawyer if you
have one, the executor of your estate, if you have one, and
at least one other person. If you don’t want to share the
information before your death, let your executor and one
other person know where the documents are located.

Carry a card in your wallet indicating who to call in case of

Certainly this list of questions and ideas is not all
inclusive. Each of us will go about this process in our own
way. The important thing is to do it!

These are simple actions we can all take to ease the process
of our passing. Join me in accepting the request to take
these steps by January 16, 2002 and let me know you’ve
joined the team by emailing

Celebrate your life by asking for what you want when you


To the well-organized mind, death is but the next great
J.K. Rowling

Death…is not more than passing from one room into
another. But there’s a difference for me, you know.
Because in that other room, I shall be able to to see.
Helen Keller

People living deeply have no fear of death.
Anais Nin

Leaving can sometimes be the best way to never go away.
Cathy N. Davidson

5. Wisdom for the Journey

This sweet story came from my sister. Yes, the same
practical sister! It’s a tad on the long side, and well worth a
bit of extra time. Some kleenex might be in order. Enjoy!

Puppies For Sale

A farmer had some puppies he needed to sell. He painted
a sign advertising the pups and set about nailing it to a
post on the edge of his yard. As he was driving the last
nail into the post, he felt a tug on his overalls. He looked
down into the eyes of a little boy.

“Mister,” he said, “I want to buy one of your puppies.”

“Well, said the farmer, as he rubbed the sweat off the back
of his neck, these puppies come from fine parents and cost
a good deal of money.”

The boy dropped his head for a moment. Then reaching
deep into his pocket, he pulled out a handful of change
and held it up to the farmer. “I’ve got 39 cents. Is that
enough to take a look?”

“Sure,” said the farmer, and let out a whistle. “Here,
Dolly,” he called. Out from the doghouse and down the
ramp ran Dolly followed by four little balls of fur. The
little boy pressed his face against the chain link fence. His
eyes danced with delight.

As the dogs made their way to the fence, the little boy
noticed something else stirring inside the doghouse.
Slowly another little ball appeared; this one noticeably
smaller. Down the ramp it slid. Then in a somewhat
awkward manner the little pup began hobbling toward the
others, doing its best to catch up.

“I want that one,” the little boy said, pointing to the runt.

The farmer knelt down at the boy’s side and said, “Son
you don’t want that puppy. He will never be able to run
and play with you like these other dogs would.”

With that the little boy stepped back from the fence,
reached down, and began rolling up one leg of his
trousers. In doing so he revealed a steel brace running
down both sides of his leg attaching itself to a specially
made shoe.

Looking back up at the farmer, he said, “You see sir, I
don’t run too well myself, and he will need someone who

The world is full of people who need someone who

This is a new section of CTJ called Wisdom for
the Journey. The wisdom will come from you, our
readers. We all have favorite stories or parables, fables or
nuggets that help to guide our lives. I invite you each to
share yours with our CTJ family by sending it to Celebrate your
growing wisdom by sharing it with us all!

6. Celebrating Out Loud

Richard Bauman is celebrating his 11th year of freedom
from the bondage of compulsive overeating. He expresses
strong gratitude to all those who have helped achieve
what he could not do on his own. Celebrate with Richard

Dave Duff wrote to say, “Every day, every step of the
journey is worth celebrating.” I couldn’t have said it better
myself. Dave can be reached at

Celebrations enrich our lives and those around us. Share
your celebrations by emailing them to Thanks!

7. Resources for the Journey

There are many resources to help you create your own
will, with or without the assistance of a lawyer.

Forms are available at or
for little or no cost. These forms come quite highly
recommended to me although I have not used them

For answers to many questions about wills and how to
prepare them, take a look at

Broderbund’s WillWriter software is what I use as the
first step in creating my own will. I then take that

document to a lawyer for final approval. You can order it
for only $9.95 at

These are only a few of the available resources. They’re a
great place to start.

8. Humor: The Nut Tree

There was a huge nut tree by the cemetery fence. One day,
two boys filled up a bucketful of nuts and sat down by the
tree, out of sight, and began dividing the nuts. “One for
you, one for me. One for you, one for me,” said one boy.
The bucket was so full, several rolled out towards the

Cycling down the road by the cemetery was a third boy. As
he passed, he thought he heard voices from inside the
cemetery. He slowed down to investigate. Sure enough,
he heard, “One for you, one for me. One for you.” He
knew what it was. “Oh, my God!” he shuddered, “It’s
Satan and St. Peter dividing the souls at the cemetery!”

He cycled down the road and found an old man with a
cane, hobbling along. “Come quick!” he said, “You won’t
believe what I heard. Satan and St. Peter are down at the
cemetery dividing the souls.” The old man said, “Shoo,
you brat! Can’t you see I’m finding it hard to walk as it is!”

After several pleas, the man hobbled to the cemetery and
heard, “One for you, one for me. One for you, one…” The
old man whispered, “Boy, you’ve been tellin’ the truth!
Let’s see if we can see the Devil himself.” Shivering with
fear, they edged toward the fence. They still couldn’t see
anything, but they heard, “One for you, one for me. One
for you, one for me. And one last one for you. That’s all.
Let’s go get those nuts by the fence, and we’ll be done.”

They say the old guy made it to town 10 minutes before
the boy!

Give yourself the gift of getting ready this week.

Namaste, Margo

Hiring a Life Coach is a great way be supported in taking
the steps that will lead you to your own dreams.
Margo has a few slots open for motivated clients who
want to shift from, “My life is good, but…” to “I have a
great life!” Visit our website at for additional resources
and tools. To schedule a consultation, send an e-mail to

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My purpose in publishing Celebrating the Journey is to
provide you with resources, motivation, inspiration and
energy for YOUR journey of creating success and freedom
in all areas of your life. CTJ will use stories from my life
and others, coaching tips and resources, quotes and
humor to deliver a learning experience that can enhance
your life. I am always looking for comments, ideas and
ways to improve CTJ. I welcome your e-mails at

Copyright © 2001, all rights reserved, by Margo

I invite you to share Celebrating the Journey with your
mailing list, friends, and associates. We ask only that the
entire e-mail with copyright and credits be included. The
author of this article is Margo Chisholm. You may contact
her at (970) 704-9336 or at

“Until he extends his circle of compassion to include
all living things, man will not himself find peace.”
Albert Schweitzer

Margo Chisholm
Coach, Speaker, Author, Therapist
Partnering you in having success,
freedom and joy in all areas of your life
970-704-9336 fax 970-704-9346


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