Most folks don’t spend a lot of time talking about their own death. Even though it is as much a part of the natural cycle of life for us as it is for animals and plants, ecosystems and galaxies, somehow when it comes to our own inevitable transition there is almost an unspoken belief that if we don’t talk about it maybe it won’t really happen.
The unfortunate part about this blatant denial process at work in so much of our society is that what it does is to end up creating unnecessary stress and pain for our loved ones. When we allow our lives to come to an end without setting our affairs in order or making our last wishes known it’s not as if it doesn’t still have to all be taken care of. What happens is that our families or friends then have to make those decisions for us. A fairly simple process for us can instead become a legal tangle and, all too often, a potential family nightmare when not everyone agrees on how things should go.
Instead of avoiding the subject of death, why not let it become something that can actually bring you closer to those you care most about? Use it as an opportunity to discuss your beliefs about dying and, while you’re at it, what life itself means to you. Make sure your will is up-to-date and share what it says with those it affects. This really isn’t a good place for surprises.
Talk about any last wishes and your preference for how you would like your remains handled. It can come as a real shock to learn that someone you thought you knew left instructions to be cremated when it’s something that was never discussed. Make those closest to you part of your exploration of traditional burial methods or of the cremation process.
Communication is the key to closeness in relationships. No where is this more true than when it comes to end of life issues.