Talking it out, saves a falling out!
Working as a Funeral Celebrant has given me the opportunity to witness first hand the distress that can be caused when someone has not left clear instruction on how they wish their affairs to be handled and even more potential upset when the wishes of their Will have not been fully discussed, which sometimes leaves family members very surprised and even angry when they have an expectation that is not fulfilled.
We may assume that our family or friends would know our wishes, but in some cases there may be differing opinions that create unnecessary ill-feeling, or in extreme situations, even require legal intervention to reach a resolve. You have probably all heard at least one story of someone where there has been an argument over the funeral wishes or a disagreement about the Will.
Some people prefer not to talk about death and see it as something to avoid, making it a Taboo Subject. Maybe some prefer not to talk about it as they know others may not agree with their choices and have a knowing it is going to offend someone. But having the conversation about our own mortality and also the wishes in our Will is very important, not only for our own resolve but for that of our family and friends too.
It is also very empowering and satisfying to know that we have taken care of something, which at the time of need, is something we will have no control over.
To leave everything organised is the greatest gift we could leave for those left behind, so we don't become a burden or a drain to them after we have gone. Keeping our affairs in order and taking responsibility for everything is something we all really ought to consider very carefully.
I often hear people say "I don't care what you do after I'm gone, do what you like" and whilst I understand the possible reasoning here, it does leave 'someone' having to take responsibility and make all the decisions, so this statement is actually extremely unhelpful for those left behind. This ‘don’t care, do what you like’ approach could also possibly be hiding a deep fear of the inevitable, so even more reason to talk about it.
Leaving guidance on what we would like to happen leading up to our death and what to do with our body when we die, along with clear instructions on what is to happen with our possessions and assets, is a necessary part of our preparation and all part of our responsibility in 'Leaving Gracefully'.