Death is one of the most difficult subjects for people to talk about, yet is essential for dealing with the loss of a loved one. Due to the nature of this business talking about death is something that I do almost every single day. I actively encourage clients to think about what they want to happen after they pass away, not only to their assets but also to themselves.
I also talk about the dangers of not discussing it, and what can happen if you don’t plan ahead. Due to this, I have spent a considerable amount of time thinking about my wishes too. I have written my own Will, and mostly planned my funeral, yet it has never really felt real. Like it may almost never happen.
I’m sure many of us are guilty of thinking that we are invincible and that it may never happen to us, myself included. Although I have thought about what it would be like to lose somebody close to me, I have never really imagined it happening.
Fortunately I have been lucky enough to get to my thirties without ever losing an immediate family member. I had assumed that as I talk about death so regularly, when the time came to deal with the loss of a loved one, I would find it a little easier.
Getting the news…
One Friday, I was visiting a friend, when my mum called to inform me that my Nan had been taken poorly. As mentioned previously, she had suffered a severe stroke several years ago and had recently moved into a nursing home. This particular day, she was taken poorly and an ambulance was called.
My family and I arrived at the hospital and were taken to a small room. We were soon informed that my Nan had passed away. No matter how often I had talked about death or losing a loved one, nothing prepared me for hearing those words.
What happened next…
The rest of that day passed in a blur. I wasn’t really sure what to do next. It all felt very surreal. I felt like I was in a dream, and thought that when I woke up things would return to normal. For a while I felt quite numb. As it happened on a Friday, there was nothing that was to be done until the following Monday. For the two days in between I was in a state of denial, and just couldn’t believe it had really happened.
As much as I have talked about death with clients, and my own family, it certainly didn’t prepare me for the emotions I would feel losing my Nan. It didn’t make the loss of a loved one any easier to deal with. It didn’t help me to deal with the sense of loss and grief that I began to experience.
So why talk about death…
Although it didn’t help my pain, it did make me realise that talking about death is important. My Nan had never talked with us about her own death. The subject was usually considered taboo in her generation, and she felt it was too morbid. I have since wondered if she had felt she could talk about it – what would she have said? Did she have anything she had wanted to say to us? Or perhaps something she wanted us to do. Had she any final things she may have wanted to do?
If she would have been willing to talk about it, I would have asked what she would have wanted in detail. This would include her choice of clothing, songs and flowers. Also if there were any objects she would want to take with her. I would also ask if there was anything she would have wanted us to say or do.
Once your loved one has passed it is impossible to get these answers. Most often, it is only when they are no longer here that the questions become so important.
Although I already understood the importance of talking about death, I now know first-hand just how important it really is. As difficult as the subject can be, it becomes impossible if left too late. Consequently, I will make sure that I talk about it with my loved ones. I have also put measures in place that will help them to deal with it when the time comes. I don’t want them to struggle with the ‘what-if’s’ when it is just too late to ask.
What can you do?
We can help you to protect your loved ones too. We offer a range of services, including writing your will, and choosing the right funeral plan for you, to enable you to make your wishes known.
For more information on any of the above mentioned solutions, contact us today.