So, when do you start to plan your funeral?…Yes yours!

writting pad and cup of coffee

It’s your funeral…

How many times do you hear someone say “that’s just what he/she would have wanted” or worse “he/she wouldn’t have like that as a send off”

So, who is to blame if it’s not what you would have wanted? You are.

As the title of this blog states…”It’s your Funeral”

When is it too soon to talk about your death and plan your own ceremony? Never too soon is what I say.

There are only two certainties in this world of ours. We arrive and we leave. Rich or poor, black or white, Christian or atheist its matters not one iota. We are all going to die one day.

What do you call death?

We all have our own special ways of avoiding the dreaded ‘D’ word

It doesn’t really matter what you call it, death is inevitable, it gets us all at some point so why not face it, plan it and then forget it until it happens.

As an agnostic I have no definite opinion or view on death or dying or where we may or may not end up after that event has taken place.

Let me give you an example of how it can be done well.

My mother who died last September (2017) had a battle with cancer and we all pretty much knew she was going to die.

She was a devout Baptist and a firm believer in the life after, heaven and hell and resurrection.

We were with her when the doctor told her there was nothing more to be done. We had spoken about this moment well in advance and planned everything together.

Her palliative care, her wishes and wants before her death, her last days and the funeral and burial.

She chose the music and readings for her funeral, specified which Funeral Director we should use, and even chose her burial plot at her chosen cemetery.

We were with her all the way from the moment we knew that hope had flown out of the window until my brother and I were each side of her bed at the St Giles Hospice holding her hands and still talking to her as she drew her final breath.

Now that is how you do a good death! It was as perfect as we could have all wanted and I know it was what she would have wanted…because she told me.

Of course not everyone has that chance to put their house in order and plan things as they want.
Some people die unexpectedly by sudden illness such as a heart attack or brain haemorrhage and it is instant.

That’s when it’s even more crucial that you have put your plans in place!

Just for a moment put yourself in the place if your next of kin and imagine how they would cope if you suddenly didn’t come home…ever again!

Just at a time when they are in total shock at your unplanned and unexpected death, they now have to second guess what you may or may not have wanted for you final farewell.

They have to go through the process of choosing music and words that they think you may have liked.

They have to decide if you would have wanted a burial, a cremation, a woodland or green burial…buried at sea maybe!

Who knows….you did, that’s who.

Not planning or facing up to your inevitable demise could be seen as an act of selfishness.

We are quick enough to tell our friends and family what we’d like for Christmas or our next birthday, where we want to go on holiday, what car we want.

Why not tell them how you would like your death and ceremony to be handled and celebrated?

You don’t have to have a serious sit down discussion; it can be quite a light hearted affair, mine was!

You don’t have to discuss it with them at all if you don’t feel you could.

You could contact a Celebrant or a minister of religion and plan it with them if you don’t feel your family are ready for that conversation.

But if you do nothing else, whatever you do please write it all down in detail and leave it in a sealed envelope if you wish with a trusted friend or family member for reference when your time has come. And it will come…that’s a certainty.

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