About My Brown Satchel

The Story of the Brown Satchel, The Inspiration and The Author.

The Story.

The Brown Satchel held documents. Documents that contained choices and life and death decisions. The contents represented a topic that often never sees the light of day and goes to the grave with most of the human race.

The topic is either taboo for some cultures, is steeped in tradition for other cultures or is palmed off as something we shouldn’t have to worry about.

The contents of the Brown Satchel were the carefully thought out plans for a man who took responsibility for every aspect of his life and as we were to discover, every aspect of his death!

The Inspiration

My siblings and I are the fortunate children of an amazing father who demonstrated how to take 100% responsibility for our lives, our choices, the resulting benefits and consequences.

Original Owner of the Brown SatchelUnbeknown to us, he was also taking 100% responsibility for the planning and arrangements of his own funeral, his estate and the ongoing care of our mother in advance of his own death.

Days before he passed away he spoke about various arrangements he had made and said, “you will find them all documented in My Brown Satchel”.

As our large family had converged on the family home from our respective countries and towns during our fathers ailing health, we one day decided to examine the contents of the satchel while we still had some time to discuss them with our father.

What we discovered was amazing. He had taken care of all of his funeral arrangements, organised the service and venue, a poem, catering, burial plot and plaque, undertaker, instructions on death notices, finances, wills, bequeaths and so much more.

sharing funeral plansWe carefully replaced the contents of the Brown Satchel and returned it to his room. We had no questions. He had taken care of everything. We talked about it amongst ourselves as he had just lifted a great weight from our shoulders.

Prior to the Brown Satchel, we had touched briefly on some of the topics surrounding his death but it didn’t feel right making the plans while he was still with us. Many people are unable to make arrangements for someone’s death before they have died. Mainly because it is considered unethical, rude and insensitive, not to mention, sad and confronting!

Thanks to our father, he taught us how to take charge of those important arrangements so our loved ones are never placed in this uncomfortable situation!

keep funeral plans togetherThe Author

I share topics surrounding our impending death, ill health and arrangements for when we are gone as they are important to ourselves and others. There is way too much at stake to not make plans. Leaving it to someone else, who is most likely mourning, is unfair in my opinion! Our plans for when we die belong to us to take care of – while we are able to!

My name is Chrissie. I have created this website to share many topics, tools and guides. Anyone can plan their Wills and Wishes for their own Brown Satchel!

~Chrissie

important documents
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12 comments

  1. When a dear friend, my ex-husband, was still alive and believing he had at least another year or two to live, said “I must do this, I must do that” I pushed for him to make that happen on the premise that he should do it while I was able to do all the legwork for him (he wasn’t very mobile at that stage). He passed away a few months later and I am so relieved for those most impacted by his death, that we got some of his affairs in order. Because now his mother who lived in his home knows that she wont be out on the street. She can grieve her loss without going into a total meltdown wondering ‘what next’ for her. The family don’t have to scramble to provide for his funeral. I don’t really know if he covered all bases but just what he did took enormous strain off his mum in particular.

    1. Angela, thank you for sharing your story and thank goodness you took the initiative to plan ahead – certainly gives peace of mind for those that were mourning ~ Chrissie

  2. Thank you for sharing this. It made me think that i should do the same, specially sins my father passed away 6 months ago, and he had not thought of anything, not even talked to my mother about it, so we had to figure all that out while in mourning. This was very helpful. thank you.

  3. Wow, I never heard of brown satchel before. I always try to avoid the conversation of death and especially making funeral arrangements before someone’s dead. However, I agree that people should prepare for when that time comes. It is a very considerate thing to do for your love ones. Thank you for this thought post

  4. Wow, what an amazing site this is. Making a difficult topic open for discussion and thinking ahead of something one wishes to avoid thinking about. Thank you for making me aware of this. I will certainly bookmark my brown satchel and keep checking for your posts. Many thanks!
    Aaron

  5. Hi, Chrissie.

    First few paragraphs were so confusing to me. Your detailed description on your brown Satchel aroused a lot of questions. As I read through the article, it became so clear and it was touching.

    I want to show my full respect for your father. For sure, he was a responsible, prepared and caring father and husband. I deeply understand how his planning and execution saved the remaining family from a lot of burden because I had similar experience when my father passed away three years ago.

    As you mentioned, we all need to prepare for our death. It can come any time – maybe in 40 years, maybe in a few days. No one ever knows. Many people want to avoid this topic, but it is worth thinking about it. Thank you for sharing your thought.

    1. Thankyou Jason for your thoughtful reply and I’m sure you can relate having gone through a similar experience – we are the fortunate ones as I know for most people it doesn’t go this way.

      ~Chrissie

  6. Chrissie, what a great article discussing things all of us are not fond of discussing or resist discussing but unfortunately, is a necessary fact of life we all face with our older relatives and ultimately, with ourselves. My wife passed away many years ago at a relatively young age of 43 suddenly I was totally unprepared! It was a horrible time trying to grieve and take of all the funeral arrangements and take care of my small children and be there for them too. I learned a valuable lesson and within a short period of time I’d had make arrangements covering everything in the event of my passing so my children wouldn’t be faced with what I faced when my wife passed. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Terry, thankyou for responding and sharing your experience which I am so sorry to hear about. No doubt your children will benefit from your forward planning and they too may do the same.
      ~ Chrissie

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