The Undertaker’s Wife {Book Give-Away!}

Undertakers Wife 2

We’re not timid about delving into deep on DoAhead but you don’t have to hang around long to pick up on the humor sprinkled throughout. It’s good to laugh! Consequently, last Spring I knew I’d have to slip some funny into my summer-time reading.

I found it in The Undertakers Wife by Dee Oliver.  The author did a terrific job of taking a hard topic and sharing it with a main plate of love and side dish of laughter. As I read it I found myself thinking, “I need to share this on DoAhead Woman.” I know…who wants to talk about estate planning? No. One. But… it IS a DoAhead and that’s what we DO around here. 🙂 

My conviction to address the topic was solidified the day our son limped his truck home looking like this:

Blown Out Tire1

A tire blew. His mama whispered prayers of thanksgiving that he was OK.  The worn tire exhaled it’s last gasp less than a quarter of mile from home- just as he was slowing for a stop sign. I shuddered to think what could have happened had he been going 75 mph down the interstate.

Blowouts happen don’t they? A tire we can deal with. Other blowouts? Not so much. Hands down the most difficult “blowout” I’ve ever dealt with has been when I’ve lost someone. Nothing else in life can leave you feeling like you’re operating on three wheels more than that.

The day this happened I had been on the porch reading The Undertakers Wife. His near-miss was a sober reminder that life can turn on a dime. The event confirmed what my heart was already whispering, “I need to share this.” Oliver’s hard found wisdom can benefit us all. If you don’t have time to read the book (Give-Away announced below) I hope you’ll glance through these bullet points:

  • Create or update a will. (Over 55% of adult Americans do not have a will-don’t be one of them.)
  • Consider writing your own obituary. (This one was the hardest for me to get my head around and yet it makes so much sense. Check out her advice on page 191 for more details.}
  • Write a letter for your spouse or loved ones to be open upon your death. Of course, the letter could be personal but what the author recommended was far more pragmatic. Things like:
    • List of banks along with account numbers and passwords.
    • Information regarding any safety deposit boxes.
    • Other financial information-investments, savings.
    • Location of important documents (insurance, titles, social security cards, etc.)
    • Information regarding any real estate concerns.
    • Location of wills.
    • Names and contact information of lawyers, accountants, insurance agents.
    • Information regarding maintenance issues or service providers for the home.
    • Information regarding the preferred funeral home and burial site.
    • Favorite scriptures/hymns.
    • Name of church or charity where donations should be sent.

Sounds like a lot doesn’t it? That’s because it is! Now-imagine dealing with all of that after you just experienced a blow out? Your hands are still shaking…you’re disorientated AND five million people are asking you five million questions. Very un-fun.

I feel so strongly about helping someone else avoid that chaos I’m giving away one of Dee’s books. Just reply “Pick me.” in the comments below and your name will be listed in a drawing. (The winner will be announced next Tuesday.) Better yet, if you have a hard-learned tip from losing someone, share that in the comments section. Your wisdom may benefit someone else.

That’s it for now! I hope you’ll stay in touch over at DoAhead Woman’s Face Book page where you’ll find encouraging words every day!

Your DoAhead Friend,


  1. Pick me!!!!

  2. Pick Me! This sounds like such an interesting book! It’s on my list to read soon, even if I don’t win.

  3. Pick Me
    One thing to add to the list is to check with all retirement funds that you have and make sure you have beneficary forms completed and double check with the company once turned in to make sure who they think the beneficary is on the form. Hard lesson learned when we filled one out and after my husband died in April from lung cancer they said there were 2 bendficaries listed on the form. Me and my son which was not what my husband intented. The form was very confusing and we had him listed as the second person should I not be living. I had called them when we sent the form to make sure they got it and if it did is right and they said it looked fine. The question I needed to ask was who do they say the beneficary is that is on the form. I finally just let go and let God and the HR director called me back after a couple weeks and said that they looked at the intent of the person and said they could see how the form was confusing and so the entire retirement was going to go to me and they were redoing the benificary form and starting a call back policy for any form that came to make sure the benificary on the form was what they wanted it to be and no more confusion for others.

    • Pam I want to say I’m so very sorry for your loss. I lost my father and father-in-law to lung cancer. NOT an easy journey. My prayers go out to you. Your words are full of wisdom. Those forms can be so complicated. The grief that we save ourselves by double checking those things in advance is huge. Thank you for the very helpful tip! So glad you stopped by.

  4. Judie fauth says:

    Pick me. Ask where your loved ones keep their address book/extended family phone numbers. This is important when informing people of the death and helpful when sending thank you notes.

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