Preparing For Death
Death remains one of the great mysteries of our world and yet the greatest certainty of them all.
No matter how much we may plan for it or how much we may know of its imminent occurrence, death often remains a shock to the system. But, it is of course, the most natural of all events in our lives.
Preparation in advance of death can be of great advantage. There are a number of things you should consider and discuss among leading family members:
If possible, ensure everyone in the family is at peace with the person who is dying and that appropriate 'goodbyes' have been said
Do you need to ask the dying person if they have concerns in respect of the funeral? You may be surprised that they are keen to talk about this. Do not fear it being an emotional conversation, of course it will be, but the advantages of knowing that his/her wishes have been adhered to at the funeral will be therapeutic for all
The fundamentals of the funeral are whether to bury or cremate? If cremation, what to do with the cremated remains? Whether to have a religious or secular funeral service?
Should there be a reception for mourners after the service? Is there to be a memorial to commemorate the person? Who needs to be informed of the funeral arrangements?
If the person is dying in an institution, particularly if this is a nursing home, it would be very useful to all concerned if you advise the officer in charge of the establishment of your wishes at the time of death (choice of burial or cremation/selected funeral director etc).