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I’ve had a smile on my face since I picked up my book, “I Didn’t See That Coming!” from the printers a few weeks ago. Not only is it from the excitement about getting it printed, but it was also the culmination of a dream that began forming five years ago, two years after Sam’s death. I knew that I wanted people to understand the importance of getting their legal, financial and insurance documents together, but I didn’t know what it would look like in order to make that happen.

So I started writing, anything and everything that I thought might be relevant to how and why people could relate to this topic. I also wanted to make it easier for them to get theirs or their loved one’s documents organized, reviewed, and updated, and to let someone else know the pertinent details.

Over the next few years I did a lot of writing, and I developed a spreadsheet that I began using for myself and current husband to track our documents and accounts. Those writings and the spreadsheet look nothing like the end result – the writing now includes only the relevant information that makes the process simple and understandable, and the spreadsheet-style worksheets that I used turned into individual sheets that capture important information from the documents. And the end result is exactly what it needs to be, and something that I am very proud of.

The book tells my story of how I was unprepared for Sam’s death. Not only about the documents and conversations that we should have had but didn’t, but also my growth as a person to face the challenge of my new life. It also addresses the issues about these important legal, financial and insurance documents that I hear most often from others: not knowing where to start, being overwhelmed by the prospect of handling this task, and/or not making it the priority it should be. The worksheets that record pertinent information from the documents gives you a chance to review them to make sure they are sufficient, have those important ‘what if’ conversations, and to leave the information for a loved one should the occasion arise that they need it.

Since that gut-wrenching life event 7 years ago of Sam’s death, to the idea for this book, to the culmination of that dream with the publishing of the book, I feel very blessed. I want to relay my message of the importance of taking care of these documents, and subsequently your loved ones, to as many people as possible, so that if and when an unexpected life event happens, they are more prepared than I was.