Accepting your own mortality

Death is usually a taboo subject: something that instantly makes people squirm in their seats and feel uncomfortable. However, death is inevitable; it happens to us all.

Striking up the death conversation with family and friends can be a really difficult thing to do, but worth doing sooner rather than later. Imagine if a spouse or parent died and you weren’t sure of their wishes for the funeral. How much more challenging would that make it? Did she want burying or cremating? Was he keen to have flowers or a collection for a local charity? Was she a fan of people wearing black at funerals? Which hymns would he have chosen?

It is possible to plan your funeral in advance. More and more people seem to be choosing to do this along with setting up and paying for a funeral plan. It can take the pressure off grieving partners and family members (both emotionally and financially), but also ensure that your wishes are carried out in terms of how you want to be sent off. However, make sure to read the small print carefully of any financial agreement to ensure that everything you require will be covered.

Making a will is a hugely important task. Conveying exactly what you want to happen to your money and assets once you are gone is vital and having someone else be responsible for ensuring that is carried out correctly is too. It is common for families to fall out over inheritance, even in situations where wills have been left. However, stating your wishes clearly lessens the chance of that happening. Do make sure that you update your will should a divorce occur, or someone you planned to leave something to dies suddenly or your become estranged from them. The actual steps you need to take in order to make a will are not as time-consuming as they used to be. It’s even possible to create one online!

Consider taking out a life insurance policy too. Knowing that your loved ones will be financially secure if you happen to become seriously ill will be one less thing to worry about. There are many possibilities, so do your research thoroughly and make sure that you read all the fine print too.

Have you always dreamed of seeing your house from way above in a hot air balloon? Or perhaps you’ve always wanted to see the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Whatever your dreams are, write them down and create a ‘bucket list’ (although ‘dreams’ or ‘aspirations’ could be slightly less morbid terms to use). Chat to your family and friends about this list. If you’ve always wanted to meet your favourite celebrity chef, there is a high chance that Pam’s daughter’s brother-in-law’s hairdresser knows his cleaner. You never know which dreams are achievable unless you try to pursue them!

However you decide to broach the conversation with your loved ones, try to make it sooner rather than later and as casual and to the point as possible. It won’t be easy, but certainly will be worthwhile.

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