We can shy away from it, refuse to discuss it or pretend it will never happen, but the truth is, as Benjamin Franklin said...
''There are only two things certain in life: death and taxes".
Perhaps this sounds gloomy and morbid to you, but it is becoming increasingly clear that we have a really unhealthy relationship with death (pun intended). Refusal to talk about dying doesn’t mean it won’t happen, or will delay it in some way, it simply means that we will head into it unprepared, leaving a mess behind for family and friends to untangle – and fund.
There are really only two options for funerals: internment or cremation, and with the minimum cost for either going from approximately £4000 upwards, it is a heavy financial burden which, if you haven’t made provision, will have to be picked up by those you leave behind. James Fryer at Your Future Funeral Plan has made it his business to help put your finances and wishes in order before you meet your maker (other euphemisms are available), meaning that you won’t leave your grieving relatives scratching around to fund it and trying to decide whether you go out to Nimrod or Disco Inferno!
Leaving a wish list for your final hurrah is a really good idea. Following his death, the rapper Tupac was cremated, and it is alleged that his ‘crew’ then mixed his ashes with weed and smoked him… I feel he would have approved – not so sure his mother would have been quite so thrilled. Speaking from experience, trying to choose what music and readings to have and planning the funeral of someone who refused to discuss any of it is like climbing a mountain, with grief throwing great boulders of uncertainty at you. Hard. Really Hard.
Isn’t it time we all grew up and faced the fact that the Grim Reaper will get us all in the end? Have that conversation now, make your wishes known. Request your mourners wear black/bright colours/nuns' outfits/full biker regalia – whatever you fancy, but let it be known.
If you have an idea of what you want - not necessarily when, you want it – have a conversation with James Fryer, get it all written down, and most importantly, make sure your family aren’t left in debt at their most vulnerable time. They’ll thank you for it.
About the Author
Debs Willis of Cheltenham Social Media was born in the 80s in Sandringham Castle and whiled away most of her youth making pottery painted with gnomes, fairies and elves on. Later she met and married a soldier and became an army wife who collected Guinea Pigs and Sellotape. Her writing career really took off when she penned an ode to Carling Black Label and it became a firm favourite of Prince Charles and Lady Diana.
These days she can be found making artisan jewellery or writing, with her faithful dog Colin on her lap. Coffee by day, gin by night.