Taproot Law

Taproot Law

Human-Centered Legal Advocates

With our roots in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan

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Ease, comfort, and next steps: “Preparing for the Death of a Loved One” Workshop

Taproot Law recently hosted a workshop about preparing for the death of a loved one and team member, Josie, is our guest blogger this week to share her take aways!

It was a crisp and sunny November morning when we gathered at the local library to attend the “Preparing for the Death of a Loved One” workshop.  This kind of topic can certainly create discomfort, but I entered a space, saw friendly faces, and sunshine streamed through the windows, which all made me feel at ease.

Our group consisted of people of all ages, spanning from babies to elderly, and even a dog. Erica sat at the head of the room, and even though many of us were strangers, the session felt like a pleasant and informative conversation among friends.

The conversation started with the fictional story of Faye Olsson as a way to talk about preparing for the death of a loved one and make connections to our own circumstances. Erica designed and shared interactive visuals and handouts, like Faye’s family tree pictured below, to help us engage in the conversation and think about our own stories.

Ultimately, it was a really fun workshop and I left with a few personal take-aways:

  1. Get informed to feel better about uncertainty. There are so many unknowns when it comes to losing a loved one. Unknowns can be notorious for causing stress and anxiety. Facing the doubts and confusion and becoming informed is an easy first step to eliminating anxiety and worry. Even hearing Erica speak on the topic helped me feel more comfortable and reassured.
  2. Have the hard conversation. It can feel awkward to ask your family about wills, estate plans, and finances. Simply starting the conversation is the first step in clearing the air and bringing resolution to your own questions and concerns. When initiating a potentially hard conversation topic, give the person time to think about it, digest, and get back to you. Don’t demand an immediate response.  Bring up the topic, ask your question, and give them time (days, weeks, a month) to reply.  This tip was especially helpful coming from a trained mediator!
  3. Everyone has a story. It struck me how each person attending had a different story, situation, and unique set of hurdles they were facing. We’re all on a unique journey and we shouldn’t feel like we have to navigate it alone. This is why coaching is such a great option for so many people. Outside of workshops, Erica offers a tailored coaching experience to help you move forward that is unique to your story.  There’s no substitute for the peace of mind and reassurance that comes from sharing your situation, feeling understood, and getting answers.

Preparing for the death of a loved one is a tough topic, but attending this workshop turned out to actually be a fun and informative way to learn more about practical steps I can take in the future. No matter what each attendee was personally facing, I think we all left feeling more empowered and equipped to navigate our personal journeys with loved ones and loss.

Stay tuned!

We heard from many of you that you’d like us to host this workshop again. Planning is in the works for another workshop in the new year!

In the meantime, let us know how we can help you move forward and call to schedule a coaching or Make-it-Legal session.  Interested in collaborating with us on a workshop about a specific legal issue? We’re so excited to connect with community partners to facilitate conversations that help people move forward–we’d love to hear from you! Give us a call at 906-284-8426!