Prompted by lockdown and the events of the last 12 months, David Ross wanted a will he could be proud of. He rewrote his will to include a gift for CAFOD that will help families around the world to carry on in hope.
We have a saying in Lancashire: “There aren’t nah pockets in shraads.” For my friends in the south, this roughly translates to: “There are no pockets in burial shrouds.”
This saying has come back to me a lot recently. The last year has given me a heightened awareness of my own mortality. That might sound a bit morbid, but it’s not.
As the Book of Job says, “Naked I came into this world, naked I will return.” I can’t take anything with me on that return to God, so what will happen to all the things I leave behind?
The events this past year prompted me to rewrite my will.
A will to help families pushed to the limit
When my wife Carole sadly died in 2011, I was faced with the unwelcome task of updating our will. I wanted the job done quickly, so nothing would be left to chance. I hurried things, not really producing the will I wanted. Since then, I’ve updated it to make sure it’s a will I’m proud of. A will that reflects my Catholic faith and how I live that out.
That’s why I’ve included a gift for CAFOD. It expresses my gratitude for everything I’ve received from my precious Catholic faith. God forbid I’d ever take that for granted.
When thinking about my will, I of course think about my own children and grandchildren. But there are so many children in the world not so lucky.
I remember visiting a Palestinian school and looking into the children’s classroom. There was nothing there. Just empty rooms. No equipment, nothing on the walls, no resources. Sadly, this is the same situation for millions of people around the world – families pushed to the absolute limit.
I want my will to do something to change this.
Gifts of love and gratitude
All charities need support, but for Catholics in England and Wales, CAFOD is the main overseas development agency. It’s *our* charity. That word “development” is important. CAFOD doesn’t just hand things out and leave. Instead, CAFOD works alongside families for the long term, establishing lasting change.
I made my will using CAFOD’s free will service. I contacted Hannah in CAFOD’s Legacy team and she helped me get the ball rolling. It was all very smooth and easy.
Now it’s official. I’ll be leaving some money behind to support CAFOD’s work. But it’s not just money I’ll be leaving behind. Our wills are about memories – they are gifts of love and gratitude.
As a runner, a quote from Hebrews 12 stands out to me: “we too, then, should throw off everything that weighs us down […], and with perseverance keep running in the race which lies ahead of us.” This past year, the track has been hard going for many of us, but we carry on in hope, waiting for resurrection.
One day, I’ll reach the final finishing line (with empty pockets!). When I do, I hope that what I have left for CAFOD will help other people on their own journey.
For more about CAFOD’s will-writing service, visit our website or call Hannah on 020 7095 5367.