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Face it, then Plan it. Relax.


Face it. Plan it.

We’ve all had it. The thought.  “I could get creamed right here, right now.” 

But when you have a baby, suddenly that thought takes on a whole different meaning, a quantum leap in levels of terror. I’ve had it too. Panic suddenly rises in the chest at the thought of leaving our children while our work is still not finished, and how would a loss of that magnitude effect them. How would they survive it? How can I live even for a second with that thought in my head?

Facing your very real mortality is one of the hardest things you can do as a parent, because it makes you face the possibility of not being there for your children to see them grow up. You might even experience a full body recoil at the thought.  Underneath we are saying, “No! I don’t want to deal with that…I don’t want to do it…I can’t!  La-la-la-la-la.”

It’s just too horrible, and yet it is something that every parent absolutely must do.

Aside from the basic logistics of taking care of our family business in considering what would happen to our children if something happens to us, we must stand up to our full stature as parents and adults. Taking control and claiming dominion over of our life.

When we, as parents, stand up and assume full authority over our lives, we gain greater access to our inner knowing, our instinctive powers, and we establish healthy boundaries between our household and the rest of the world. Our home is the sacred domain in which we carry out our greatest work–nurturing the next generation of humanity. For the health of our families, we need to occupy that space fully and regally.

One critical way to do that is to face the fact of our mortality enough to decide exactly what’s going to happen to our families if for some reason we’re not here to do the job. It’s the practice of making these difficult and heart wrenching decisions that makes us stronger parents, and more empowered citizens because in making them we occupy the fullness of our adult roles.

My parents were very strong and upright people. They were by no means perfect parents, but they were strong, because they had to be—they had 10 kids. I admired that strength, particularly when it meant standing up to other people or insisting we stand up for ourselves. My parents didn’t put up with any crap, from us or anyone else, and we knew it. We could trust it. That kind of strength is something I want for every parent.  The ability to be strong in their parenting in the face of immense social and familial pressures, be strong in their living, and become the people that they want to be, despite what the outside world with all its conflicting and often unhealthy beliefs might say. 

But when we do stand up straight as parents, we show our children how to live. We show them how to embody their full being, how to inhabit their entire life. But when we shy away from this one thing, this small decision that means so much, we shy away from the fullness of our living.

It’s my job, and my humble honor to be able to help parents into this place where they can step up and stand up and say how their families are going to be run, even when they are not here.  

Get ready to die, so that you can really live!  Start now.


Martha Hartney

Owner, Founder

Martha is a mother, legal trainer, estate planning attorney practicing in Colorado, and the co-founder of the Children’s Emergency Response Plan (CHERP).


CHERP® is a Children’s Emergency Response Plan. It tells emergency responders who should care for your kids if you something tragic happens to you.



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