Thinking About End of Life…
I have been quite insulated from death and dying – until recently. My elderly mum nudged up to the brink in late August but received a timely intervention that means she will probably make it to her 100th birthday in March next year. I was so glad that Lasting Power of Attorney was in place for both Health and Finance and I was already managing her paperwork as she is partially sighted. We made all the decisions together regarding surgery, hospital stay, residential care home and putting her house on the market. We also reviewed and re-confirmed her wish to donate her body to anatomical research and the outline of her (very simple, please) funeral. I witnessed her reaching out to relatives and friends with more generosity than ever and the whole 2 month period has been very graceful and instructive.
I have been thinking more about organising my own financial affairs recently and am aware of the looming task of registering a death, funeral arrangements and probate. This might well loom for another 8 years, based on my grandmother’s longevity – 1893-2001. Nevertheless future planning is going to be very helpful.
I will take direction from the incredibly helpful, clear and practical book Before I Go: The Essential Guide to Creating a Good End of Life Plan by Jane Duncan Rogers. The information in Before I Go is available in several formats including an online course with weekly episodes and an innovative weekend workshop here at Hawkwood with Jane Diamond – Before I Go: Creative Approaches to End of Life Planning Fri 22- Sun 24 November.
Written by our dear On-site Programme Manager, Katie Lloyd-Nunn, as pictured here with her mum.
Jane Diamond is a graduate of the Before I Go Academy, the training arm of BIG Solutions, a social enterprise whose mission is to have end-of-life plans be as commonplace as birth plans. Jane believes we need to change how we talk about death and dying so it is better understood as a normal part of life. Jane has been running the Nailsworth death café for several years and has trained with Jane Duncan Rogers to guide people in end of life planning. She has recently joined Family Tree Funerals and is bringing her calm, experienced approach to her new work as a funeral director. She also has a background in body psychotherapy and is a member of Gloucestershire Bereavement Forum.