Hope your year is going good so far and you are enjoying the entrance of spring. As we enter this month we will have our annual Ceremony of remembrance and renewal coming up later in the month, but I want to share some thoughts that pertain to this event. For most of us we don’t want to think about death until it comes to someone we care about or love. I recently lost my father, and felt I was somewhat prepared as he was 91 years old and lived a good life. In growing up I had an extremely close relationship with my dad as we shared many interest from Masonry, DeMolay, baseball, hunting and other adventures. He started early in my life preparing me for that day that recently came, as we had open discussions about finances, what to do, and how to manage what was about to transpire. He was a teacher, mentor and friend but most of all he was a Dad. He enabled me to understand the importance of planning, protecting himself and family, as we discussed details that I sometimes thought were awkward but enjoyed the openness we shared together. This process in closing out an estate, and the life of an individual is something I am sure none of us want to do, but I share this now and encourage you to sit down with your wife, children, brothers, sisters or a close friend and be open talking to them about that time. Do you have cemetery plots, have funeral arrangements been pre-planned, do you know what you want to be buried in? Are you carrying enough insurance that your wife and family will be in good hands, is your house set up in a life estate or a trust that will help divide up your assets at that time, do you have jewelry or special items you want to leave to an individual, do you have your accounts set up transfer on death, or beneficiary’s named, do you even have a will? Do you want a Masonic funeral service as what an impression it leaves on those not part of our fraternity, as I am continuing to receive comments from my family, friends, and coworkers who had never seen one. For some this article might seem useless as they have taken the initial steps as they get older, but many of these things we don’t think about until it is too late. While I still grieve, the day my father passed I started the process, and because of his foresight, planning and discussion’s we had prior while living, it is enabling me to work through things with some ease. I will never forget my father, but will have days of sadness, but have realized he prepared me many years ago to be the individual I am today and I know he is proud of me. As we get closer to saying good bye to those brothers who have passed in our upcoming Ceremony, I encourage others to be open with those close to you understanding that each day with our family and friends is a blessing, and all though our lives may encounter a few bumps along the way, those things we do ahead might make our task a little easier when that time comes, that the Great Architect of the Universe takes us to that Celestial Lodge above.
Take care and thanks for all you do for the Scottish Rite. Look forward to seeing you in the future at one of our Valley functions or meetings.
Larry Williamson, 32° KCCH
Master of Kadosh