I never really thought too deeply about the subject of death until my father passed away 3 ½ years ago. Since then, you could say, I’ve been involved, intrigued, done research about it, and now am co-owner of a company where its main purpose is to help people plan for death.
I’ve come a long way in three years and I can say I have a completely different outlook on the subject of death. First, let me say, while I’m not sure what your beliefs are, my belief is that once I pass on, there is a better place for me – full of peace and harmony. I’ve always believed that. But what I hadn’t thought much about is what happens to the people left behind.
When a loved one passes away, there is much to-do. I mean as far as planning a funeral or service, writing an obituary, choosing what the deceased will wear if there is a wake, choosing a casket or urn, pall bearers, songs, scripture, flowers and the immediate list goes on.
Then comes the daunting task of locating a Will (should there happen to be one), deciding who will handle the closing of all the financial accounts and who will be in charge of distributing or selling their loved ones possessions, and locating all the paperwork to do so. Who will be in charge of completing paperwork to collect on any life insurance or retirement, VA or pension benefits? There is so much to do now-a-days to “close” someone’s life. With this digital age and its complexities, it is even more difficult than ever. It makes it difficult to find the time to simply grieve.
So, I’ve been asking myself this question – Why don’t people communicate or plan or at least share their wishes about what they want, or what people are supposed to do with their stuff once they are gone? What I have found in talking with people and experts in various “death industries” over the last three years is that people don’t want to talk about death. UGH! Obviously projecting and thinking about someone you love not being here anymore is sad. But that’s projecting a feeling of something that hasn’t even occurred yet. And you have no idea when it will occur. Some people that I spoke to had trouble even saying the word death.
So, why is that? What’s all the doom and gloom about? Are we afraid that if we talk about it it will come true? Well, it is going to happen to every one of us. I think people don’t want to accept that, so they choose not to think about it. Wouldn’t it be great though if we planned for our death like we plan for a birth? A wonderful celebration of how a life was lead here. There are countries that do look at death this way and plan for the time when it will eventually come.
I think it’s time we get comfortable and accept the fact that, yes, we are ALL going to die. Why not take the time to have conversations with your loved ones about what you want. Give them some direction. If you find it uncomfortable to talk about, at least record your wishes and leave it for them.
Talking about death and planning for it may even make it a little less scary, knowing you are prepared.
For resources and more information about being prepared go to www.mylifeandwishes.com.