Dying Is A Part Of Living Single And Marriage

by Yvonne Chase on May 6, 2019

Who’s going to pull the plug for you God forbid you end up on life support? That’s a question I Yvonne Chase as a childless single woman in this world has to answer because dying is a part of living.

It’s fresh on my mind because John Singleton died last Monday at the young age of 51. Upon returning home from a trip to Costa Rica, John took himself to Cedar Sinai hospital to get checked out. While there, he had a stroke, ended up on life support and never made it back home. His family pulled the plug. Unfortunately, John suffered secretly with hypertension. If you don’t know who John is, he was the youngest person and first African American to ever be nominated for an Oscar award for his blockbuster movie Boyz n the Hood.

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Film Director, Screenwriter and Producer

This post is not about John Singleton per se however it’s about dying and the choices single people have to make. John was single. As I think about his death, it forced me to think about estate planning; preparing documents like a will, healthcare proxy, and getting life insurance. These are all things that I am going to need God forbid the inevitable happens and I can’t make decisions for myself.

Who will be at my bedside praying Heaven down for healing and that Gods ultimate will be done? These are all questions I have to answer. Dying is a part of living. It’s going to happen to all of us one day and as the Bible says no man knows the day or the hour.

Do you have a will/trust in place? A health care proxy? Who will make decisions for you when you can’t make them for yourself? What about life insurance? Many of us fear talks about dying. I don’t, because the truth of the matter is it will knock at our doorsteps one day.

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Estate Planning

The other issue that’s at the top of my mind in light of John’s passing is our health. Hypertension is literally killing the black community. More than 40% of black men and women have it and black men are at a higher risk of having a stroke than any other group in the United States. We need to get it under control. Health is wealth. We are called to be good stewards over everything God has given to us and that includes our temple; our bodies.

After my relationship with God, my health is my number one priority. Without it, I have nothing. As I move about the streets of NYC, I am shocked at the number of overweight people I see in my community day in and day out. I don’t understand it because, since my return to this city five years ago, I’ve easily lost weight. I mean with going up and down the subway stairs multiple times a day, walking across the Brooklyn Bridge, working out at least three times/week and moving through the city, it’s easy to do, so what gives?

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Food; what we eat, when we eat and how we eat is a huge factor. I’m not suggesting everyone eat a 90% plant-based alkaline diet like me, however, I am suggesting we take inventory of what’s in our refrigerators, pantries and on our grocery lists.

In addition, we need to look at our family tree to see what diseases are lurking in the roots. Most importantly, we need to care about our bodies. We need to realize our bodies are the vessel that carries us through life. It’s the car that takes us to and from our destination.

Think about your car if you have one. How far do you think it would take you if you didn’t take care of it? What would happen if you changed the oil whenever you felt like it? How well do you think it would run if you never rotate the tires, check the brakes and batteries and take it in for its annual maintenance?

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Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Have you had your annual physical exam this year? Men don’t like going to the doctor. We must encourage them to go. One of my male associates hasn’t been to a doctor in thirty years and refuses to go. He says he feels fine and rarely gets sick. I’m not a fan of western medicine, however, I do think its’ a good idea to have our blood drawn once a year to make sure our innards are working well.

Health is more than physical; it’s emotional, spiritual and mental. How’s your soul? Do you sleep well at night or are you up filled with anxiety and worry? Are you dealing with the trauma in your life through therapy, counseling, coaching or otherwise? Chronic illnesses like cancer and autoimmune diseases are tied to our emotions.

With all that said, you could be healthy, take ill and die suddenly as Christian writer Rachel Held Evans did over the weekend at the even younger age of 37. She too went to the hospital and never made it back home. Her husband pulled the plug after she ended up on life support due to complications from the flu and other symptoms.

Christian Columnist, Blogger and Author

So, what’s the takeaway? In her final blog post dated March 6th, Rachel reminded us that death is a part of life. I say we act like we know it and live accordingly. Sobering thoughts…

Something to think about…

What say you? Do you think about dying? Have you done estate planning? Why? Why not? What’s your takeaway from this post?

Here are 2 things I’d like you to do now:

1. Leave a comment below

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{ 33 comments… read them below or add one }

Stevie Turner May 6, 2019

Death is indeed a part of life. We only get one body, and we have to look after it. My mother always told me never to get old and fat – we have no choice about growing old, but we do have a choice about growing old and fat! Working in a hospital as I do, I see that she was right.

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Stevie Turner May 6, 2019

Yes death is part of life. We only get one body, and we must do our best to look after it. My mother always told me never to get old and fat. We have no control over growing old, but we do have control about getting old and fat. Working in a hospital as I do, I can see Mum was right.

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Michelle May 6, 2019

You’re right, preparing for our eventual demise is important. My husband of 3 years and I recently completed the items on your list. I am adding one more that we still need to attend to – a TOD (transfer on death) of our property to the kids. This keeps property from having to go through probate with the will.

The thing I discovered when I worked in healthcare is that many families never have these discussions. Either the parents or the children refuse. Then when someone comes through the emergency room doors with a life-threatening condition those making the decision do not know their loved one’s wishes. Do not resuscitate? Try to bring the loved one back at all possible costs? Something in between? People would make their lives so much easier if they would consider this eventuality ahead of time.

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Yvonne Chase May 8, 2019

@Michelle,

Good for you that you’re prepared for the inevitable. You’re absolutely right, many families don’t have this discussion. Death is hard to discuss. Denial is an easier pill to swallow.
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Laurie May 7, 2019

Death is part of life. Wills, Power of Attorney, etc. are not things we like to think about, but we should. Thanks for the reminder.

I recently found out that I have very high cholesterol and am taking steps to lower it by diet so I don’t have to go on medication. I am not overweight, I am a runner, so I exercise, but it can happen to anyone, especially as we get older. We do need to take care of ourselves!
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Yvonne Chase May 8, 2019

@Laurie,

You’re absolutely right; high cholesterol and other maladies can happen to the healthiest of us especially as we get older. And that is why we need to stay on top of our doctor’s visits. The sooner we find out what’s going wrong inside our bodies, the quicker we can treat it. Going for my physical this afternoon.

All the best to you as you kick high cholesterol to the curb!
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chery May 7, 2019

A very good topic to be opened for discussion. My husband and I don’t have any wills or anything regarding our assets upon our deaths. The only thing we’ve talked about regarding death is that we hope we go out together. Apart from that, we haven’t made any plans or taken any steps – might be time to do so.
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Yvonne Chase May 8, 2019

@Chery,

Don’t feel bad; you’re a part of a large majority. We can all do better now that the discussion is open.
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Michele Morin May 7, 2019

Good words, Yvonne. We live in denial, but our health keeps us accountable for our daily decisions.
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Yvonne Chase May 8, 2019

@Michele,

Yes, our health definitely keeps us accountable for our daily decisions. Well said…
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Karen May 7, 2019

Hey Yvonne,

Thank you for this message birthed from losing two young and wonderful people in our world. It’s hard to think about and discuss, but death is a part of life. I respect your journey to stay healthy and agree, it extends into more realms than physical. The good Lord created us body, soul, and spirit. We do well to desire wellness for our whole being. Then, in the end, we have lived life full and well and whole.

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Yvonne Chase May 9, 2019

@Karen,

Living full and well and whole is what it’s about for me.
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Theresa Boedeker May 7, 2019

Death is a part of living and something we need to think about. My husband and I had talked for years about making a will and appointing our children to someone’s custody, but time went by. My dad died, and that was the impetus. Suddenly we had it all done.
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Yvonne Chase May 8, 2019

@Theresa,

Many of us are unprepared for the inevitable. Unfortunately, it takes death to get us on track. Glad you got it all done.
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Rebecca Hastings May 7, 2019

It is important to be prepared. So often we think our time here is the most important thing. But really, it’s just the beginning of a great eternity!
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Yvonne Chase May 8, 2019

@Rebecca,

The death of John and Rebecca are a wake-up call that our time here is limited. And yes, it is the beginning of a great eternity.
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Jeanne Takenaka May 7, 2019

Yvonne, what a thought-provoking post. We don’t know the number of our days, do we? I appreciated your exhortation to make it a priority to work to be/stay healthy. I used to obsess about dying…the thought petrified me. I do think about it now, but it’s more because I don’t want to leave my kids without their mama. But, ultimately, God knows what is best for them, even more than I do. So, I choose to trust Him and entrust them to Him in each day.
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Yvonne Chase May 8, 2019

@Jeanne,

I think staying healthy and being good stewards over our bodies is the least we can do. No matter how healthy we are, it doesn’t guarantee a long life, however, a healthy body does contribute to feeling better day by day.

Sobering thoughts about leaving your kids behind one day. Entrusting them in Gods care is the way to go because the reality is, there is no order to how we leave this earth. John left before his parents and Rachel left her children behind.
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debbie May 8, 2019

My parents died at relativelly young ages. I’ve caught up with them and passed one. I feel like every day is a gift. We know we all will die unless Jesus raptures us first. It is wise to consider that.

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Yvonne Chase May 8, 2019

@Debbie,

Yes, death is guaranteed. No way around it. Every day is a gift indeed. None of us knows when we will take our last breath.
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Yvonne Chase May 8, 2019

@Laurie,

You’re absolutely right; high cholesterol and other maladies can happen to the healthiest of us especially as we get older and that is why we need to stay on top of doctors visits etc to know what’s going on inside. The sooner we find out, the better. Just made an appointment for my annual physical.

All the best to you as you kick high cholesterol to the curb!
Yvonne Chase recently posted…Dying Is A Part Of Living Single And MarriageMy Profile

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Tracey Abrahams May 8, 2019

Im lucky in the respect that my children are adults so I don’t need to plan for them when I pass. As for property, I dont own a great deal, so don’t feel the need to divide my meager posessions up. If my husband passes before me I will make a will, but at present I trust him to make the necessary decisions as and when needed.
#abitofeverything
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Yvonne Chase May 9, 2019

@Tracey,

The most important part of this discussion for me is who will make health decisions for me God forbid. I care nothing about what they do with my property or possessions because like you, I don’t own a great deal.

I just want to make sure someone is by my side fighting for me God forbid I don’t have the energy and decisions are made with no selfish agenda.
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Lisa notes May 9, 2019

Thanks for sharing more about John Singleton. I had heard he died, but I didn’t know those were the circumstances. You’re so wise to think ahead to end-of-life issues. Whether single or married, it’s something we all need to think about!

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Yvonne Chase May 16, 2019

@Lisa,

We don’t want to think about death, however, life forces us to think about it.
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Lesley May 9, 2019

It’s true, we don’t always like to think about death but it is part of the reality of life. And keeping ourselves healthy as much as we can is important!

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Yvonne Chase May 9, 2019

@Lesley,

Making healthy life choices for me is not about living forever. The reality is I could die tonight.

For me, it’s about quality of life. Impacting my remaining years positively. Decreasing the chances of living with pain and debilitating chronic diseases some of which run in my family.

I want to enjoy life to the fullest and be available to do the work God calls me to do. I can’t do it if my body isn’t working well.
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mireille May 10, 2019

I like how you compare taking care of yourself as taking care of your car. I am one of those who needs to probably do a better job of going to the doctor regularly. At least in recent years, I do a wellness check so I am aware of my numbers!
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Yvonne Chase May 16, 2019

@Mireille,

I think we could all do a better job of making our health a priority so don’t feel bad. Just make an appointment. Yearly wellness checks are a great start.
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Mandy May 10, 2019

Thank you for reminding us of these things that we must be aware of and do. Thanks you for sharing on the Legacy Linkup
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Roseann Hampton May 12, 2019

I was very glad my mom had everything in place when she had a stroke. It made decision making so much easier for those of us left to do it. I have since put all of that in place so my children don’t have to worry. Thanks for sharing with us at The Blogger’s Pit Stop!
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Kathleen - Bloggers Lifestyle May 14, 2019

Yvonne, thank you for this wise post. As you say, it is so important to look after our health if we want quality of life. We have no control over the number of days but a healthy lifestyle is our responsibility. Getting things in order is also our responsibility.
We will be making this post a feature on the next Blogger’s Pit Stop.
Well done.
Kathleen

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Yvonne Chase May 16, 2019

@Kathleen,

Amen! A healthy lifestyle is our responsibility. Thanks for the feature. I appreciate your support.
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