End Of Life
Sometimes people come near the end of their life, whether they are young or old, without having made any preparations for it and without letting their loved ones or carers know what their preferences are. Especially when someone fairly young has received a diagnosis of a serious illness that could end their life suddenly, it can be difficult to broach questions like, “what sort of funeral service do you want”, or “where are the keys to the safe kept”?
Will It Hurt Them
Sometimes the person or their carer or loved ones feel that they are hastening the person’s end or removing their will to fight any illness by asking questions like these. But we will all die one day, sooner or later and these kinds of questions need to be asked, otherwise those left behind can face a very difficult time. They may need to sort out a will. Was there one? Is it the most up to date? Where are the business accounts? Are there any other bank accounts? Is there a relative far away who needs to be contacted? How? Answering these questions can help support loved ones even after they are not here.
Some people may have decided ideas on what they would like their funeral to include. They may even have written these instructions down or saved them on a computer. But who knows that these instructions are there? Do they know how to access them? Sometimes, these wishes are only found AFTER the funeral is over and it’s sad to know that something could have been included but wasn’t because no one knew.
Writing a journal for end of life does not need to be depressing and it doesn’t necessarily have to all be done at once, unless the person is seriously ill with a poor prognosis. It can be a way of celebrating the person’s life and sharing memories with others.
A journal that is bound and kept safe can be available at any time with all the instructions necessary for carrying out the person’s wants, even before any will is read. Putting everything down somewhere accessible can help the person be more comfortable and at ease, knowing they have set their affairs in order. And a bit of humor and thought provoking quotes can make the process enjoyable and even fun.
It is important to keep a copy of the journal, especially the funeral preferences because a document like this may be kept by the hospice or hospital and released only to a solicitor, etc., and the funeral wishes not released until AFTER the funeral took place!
The pilot journal has been substantially modified following feedback. The revised (purchasable) version of the End Of Life Journal can be seen and purchased here.