Last week, I promised to tell you more about the trip with my girls to San Diego and some of the great outings we had there. While my goal for the weekly newsletter is to bring uplifting stories and tips for successful living, sometimes, it just isn’t possible. This is one of those times.

It was a little difficult to write last week (and not much easier this time!), but I want to share with you that my life has changed drastically in the past few weeks, with the passing of my partner and best friend. My wife, Mimi, after battling cancer for several years, lost the war and is gone.

Although I knew she was ill, a short three months ago, her doctor forced me to let go of the belief that she was going to get well. That was one of the worst moments in my life, realizing that there wasn’t anything I could do to change it or make it better for her or for our children. I felt helpless; it was going to happen.

And it did.

That brings me to the rest of the “San Diego trip” story that I started last week. I was determined that, after having gone through such a terrible time for so long – and my children not having any real summer break – that they were going to have an immediate respite from the sadness to try and experience some fun, such as it could be, and normalcy, such as that could be.

As an attorney whose job and passion it is to ensure families plan for times like this, it wasn’t supposed to happen to ours this quickly and in this manner. Becoming a Personal Family Lawyer meant that I was offering my clients an opportunity to create a Legacy Library of Priceless Conversations. This is their opportunity to leave behind their most valuable wealth: Who they are and what’s important to them. I urged Mimi to do this as well. Unforuntately, she couldn’t bring herself to do it and kept saying “that she wasn’t going anywhere and would get to it later.” So unfortunately, that chance is lost forever.

I understood that it was difficult for her, so I didn’t press her. But what a treasure she could have left behind for our children. Please forgive me if I am a little strident in my advice to you, having gained the benefit hndsight: If it’s hard for you to think about planning for your death in this manner, find a way to overcome it. Think of someone you’ve loved and lost and how you would love to hear, in their own words and in their voice, who they were, how they grew up, what their values were, and what they want for their children. Then, think of how much this would mean to your family with your own story.