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talk about death

Why we need to talk about the end of life

Scattering Ashes Guest Blog – Mala Brinsden @ No Regrets

Why we need to talk about the end of life

I know it isn’t easy or the most popular topic of conversation to be talking about death and the end of life, for so many reasons – too morbid, too painful, why would I?!

But as hard as it may be, there are many reasons why we need to talk about the end of life, whilst we are healthy and well.  It makes it kinder and a little easier on our loved ones, when choices and decisions have been talked about beforehand and in the face of many practicalities that lie ahead for the people who remain.

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Artwork -Robin Shaw

 Many decisions and information needed

There are so many decisions and information needed to be made both in the lead up to a person’s death and afterwards. And usually, it’s so much harder to talk about these things once the person is close to dying or having treatment for cancer as they are too poorly and don’t have the energy, neither mental, emotional or physical.

This has been my experience with loved ones who were dying with cancer.  As a person who is relatively comfortable in talking about death and dying, when grief hits or the rawness of being bereaved, then it is SO much harder. So emotional. So tender. So raw. This is why we need to talk about the end of life beforehand.

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Cremation or burial?

If you only speak about one thing, finding out whether a person would want a cremation or burial is a perfect example of why we need to talk about the end of life.  SO many families sit in the funeral directors numb, and in shock and when asked this question, “ Did your loved one want to be cremated or buried?,  they respond with  “We didn’t talk about it”, “Mum never said” or” Dad never said”. “We didn’t like to ask.”

Speaking from personal experience after my mum died where nothing was spoken about in the lead up to her death, just choosing the flowers and wording on the card was the hardest thing to do.

You can read about my experience here.

Relying on the Will for finding out about funeral wishes

I know it’s what we are led to believe, to leave your funeral wishes in your Will, but sometimes, a Will isn’t always found or opened before the funeral, leaving the family to decide whether it’s cremation or burial themselves….

only to find out afterwards that it was actually the opposite of what they chose for their loved one!

Adding guilt to all the other emotions people are experiencing whilst grieving.  I have heard this on many occasions, it’s more common you might think and just one of the many reasons why we need to talk about end of life!

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Ashes ceremony

Following a cremation, then there is also the decision of what to do with the person’s ashes afterwards. My friend who died was very clear with what she wanted to happen to her ashes after she died, but without having that conversation, I wouldn’t have known, which is why we need to talk about the end of life

There are so many options of what to do with cremated remains incorporating all the natural elements – water, fire, earth, air and space.  It could be hiring a boat or having a Viking Ship ceremony, to being airborne in fireworks, airplane or a drone.  Having the ashes buried in an urn, or having a tree planted, to be encased in beautiful pieces of jewellery and glassware. There really is no limit when it comes to creating an ashes ceremony for a loved one or for yourself.

Scattering Ashes UK

My dad Bernard who died in 1992

So as hard as it may feel to broach the subject of death and the end of life, you can see there are many reasons why we need to talk about the end of life. It really does make things a little easier and kinder on our remaining loved ones when things have been talked about and certain decisions have been made in advance.

To find out how I can help you get started on having a conversation with a loved one or to find out about what decisions need to be made or any other aspects of end of life planning, then visit my website.

Book a 15 minute call with me and we can chat over a cuppa.

Read what others have to say about their experiences of working with me.

Read my blogs on all the different aspects of end of life planning, from funeral preparations, to lasting power of attorney, to having an overview on what’s needed to prepare for end of life planning in an empower hour.

I hope this has inspired you and been clarifying as to why we need to talk about the end of life.

Thank you for reading,

Mala x



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