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Unexpected Death: Is Your Life in Order?

A terrible accident killing eleven people has made me realise there are some things in life over which we have no control.

Most readers are no doubt aware of the saying, treat every day as it’s your last. It is true that we never really know when we wake in the morning, whether we will live to go to bed that night. Regardless of age, or health or anything else, things sometimes happen that we have no control over.

Some of you will be aware of the tragic accident here in New Zealand yesterday, when eleven couples and a balloonist died in a hot air balloon accident. One minute they were setting off in what was to be a fun occasion, then within minutes they were all gone, after the balloon is thought to have touched a power line.

None of those people, nor their families would have dreamt their end would have been so fast and so horrific. None would have thought they’d never see their families again. This should not have been a risky venture. The balloonist was experienced, the weather calm. But as I said, things sometimes happen over which we have no control.

I’m sure this accident was the subject of conversation over dinner for many here in New Zealand last night. It certainly was in my household where a small group had gathered for a summer barbecue. We started talking about whether or not we knew what other family members wishes were when the does come for funerals, who would pay for them if there were insufficient funds  and other things people usually choose not to discuss.

We questioned who did or did not have wills and which family members or close contacts actually knew how to access the information. We talked about where we kept important information and who knew about it. We talked about the suffering of families who were suddenly faced with unexpected circumstances.

This may seem like a sombre dinner party discussion on a summer evening, but the events of the day were a reality. Six families were now faced with these questions. Not many amongst us felt that our affairs were totally in order, should such a tragic end come to us. Many of our questions were left unanswered.

I’m not suggesting we should all become paranoid about stepping out of homes, thinking about whether or not we’ll return. I am suggesting that we should all take stock of our current state of affairs, ensuring documents such as wills are up to date. We should make sure someone is aware of where important information is kept.

Most of us agreed that when we go on holiday we advise others where we are going, contact details and other things that may be useful. But how often do we set out on shorter ventures, maybe such as the hot air balloon excursion yesterday, and tell no one of our plans.

Perhaps 2012 should be your year, no matter how young and healthy you believe you are, to make sure your personal affairs are in order, in case something untimely should happen to you. After all, once you are gone it is your families who have to deal with everything. Why make their task, when they are already grieving, more difficult than it needs to be.

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User Comments
  1. Shirley Shuler

    On January 7, 2012 at 2:32 pm

    Val, my heart goes out to the families of the eleven people that were killed in this terrible accident. You have given me much to think about, one never knows how short may be the road that lies ahead.

  2. magus magus

    On January 7, 2012 at 3:35 pm

    great information, thanks!

  3. manlalakbay

    On January 7, 2012 at 3:43 pm

    I love this! There are no certainties on this world where we are living. So we should place all important documents in a nice and safe place and inform our closest family member where they could find it incase some bad thing happen to us. Anyway, life is adventure. And we are the one who drive our life. But be careful because on our way, there are some dangerous thing that would happen to us. So lets pray and believe in our Savior (whoever He might is to you). Keep writing more. :)

  4. Robert Heston

    On January 7, 2012 at 6:12 pm

    It’s good to let others know of our desires in the event of our death. We should even take that a step further and have legal wills that we keep updated.

  5. 134zone

    On January 7, 2012 at 6:14 pm


  6. Tulan

    On January 7, 2012 at 6:26 pm

    We never what will happen in the next minute of our lives. We should remember to be happy and keep our loved ones close always.

  7. lapasan

    On January 7, 2012 at 6:46 pm

    The hot air balloon accident was unfortunate. Death is the ultimate reality that we must accept, but before that comes we should be prepared for it so that our surviving family wouldn’t suffer.

  8. Starpisces

    On January 7, 2012 at 8:36 pm

    OMG, sad to know about that hot balloon accident, sad for those family members.
    You’re right, Val, We really don’t know what life offers sometimes.

  9. indianwriting

    On January 8, 2012 at 2:05 am

    I just read about it in today’s paper. Supposedly was the worst aviation disaster in more than 30 years in Newzealand..I cant imagine the plight of the relatives who saw it happening in front of their eyes and yet were helpless. What a pathetic situation to be in..God bless :(

  10. qncai

    On January 8, 2012 at 5:49 am

    Nice information

  11. dazzlejazz

    On January 8, 2012 at 5:59 am

    This was awful news to hear Val. You’ve really brought up some good points though – so many things you take for granted when really any day could be your last.

  12. Christine Ramsay

    On January 8, 2012 at 7:20 am

    Very good advice, Val. It was terrible to hear of the accident. I didn’t realise it was eleven couples. I thought it was individuals. Their poor families. We have made sure that everything is in order when we go, thank goodness.

  13. jennifer eiffel01

    On January 8, 2012 at 7:51 am

    I can not have a will because I do not own anything worth value. But I do have it written my mom can agree on medicines to give me if I am unconscious. But I also have a living will that says I can not be taken off life support. I figure if God wanted me too die he would have me die mysteriously on life support. I freaked out when daddy died and my mom bought three plots two for her and daddy and one for me. I am not married, nor do I intend to.

  14. Brenda Nelson

    On January 8, 2012 at 5:39 pm

    Being prepared for death also means cleaning junk and clutter out of your house now so your family is not stuck doing it.

    As far as the accident goes – did they not look for powerlines first?

  15. sloanie

    On January 8, 2012 at 9:19 pm

    Out of us 5 children I’ve lost 2 sisters and 1 brother.
    My elderly mother is still alive.
    I made my will long ago, you can take nothing in life for granted.

  16. ittech

    On January 9, 2012 at 7:58 am


  17. martie

    On January 15, 2012 at 12:57 pm

    You are right, we should have our affairs in order. I went through this with my sister this summer even though he knew the end was near my brother-in-law did not get things together and she is still struggling with his estate and other things which only makes her feel the loss all the more keenly.

  18. sheilanewton

    On January 20, 2012 at 6:59 pm

    Such a dresdful disaster. And thanks for reminding me to go to the solicitor to get a copy of our will. We don’t know where our copy is!!!!

  19. KimberlyMartin

    On January 22, 2012 at 4:09 pm

    Good point.

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