Thought for the day: Planning ahead for death helps those left behind

Preparing for your funeral helps take the pressure off relatives.
Preparing for your funeral helps take the pressure off relatives.

We don’t like talking about death in this country do we? And yet, death awaits us all.

Some get prior notice that life is to end and in my line of work I always find it is very humbling to spend time with anyone who knows their days are numbered.

They seem to have a very clear view of life and of what is important.

I met with such a person recently, his name is Richard and he has a terminal illness.

Richard, along with his wife and one of his children, sat and talked to me very honestly about life and death.

It wasn’t the easiest conversation ever but Richard made it clear that in talking about his death and his funeral he knew he was making life easier for those he loved and gaining a degree of comfort for himself.

I’ve lost count of the times a bereaved family member has said to me - “we don’t know what they would have wanted” and then they struggle on hoping they are doing the right thing for someone they love and have lost.

They are already burdened by their grief and now they have this extra stress - and it’s so simple to save them some of the pain.

Just think how it would help your family if you left them a letter with clear instructions or better still sat them down and had a chat with them like Richard has done - and if they try and avoid it tell them why it’s important to you and to them.

You only have to do it once, and then you can go back to living life and enjoying life secure in the fact that when the day finally comes you will get the send off you want.

Your family will know they are doing the right thing and that will bring them a degree of comfort at what will be a difficult time too.

When the day comes to say farewell to Richard, I will be able to tell all who gather for his funeral just what an inspiring man he was…maybe he can inspire you too?

That would be an extra legacy for Richard and for his family.