How to prepare for the future part 3
Having already said that you should make a Will and create Lasting Powers of Attorney, the next thing to do is sit down with your family and have that conversation about what you want in the future.
Lots of families find this hard, they don’t want to talk about that difficult stuff, when you might be unwell, dying or after you have died. Usually once the first conversation takes place, it makes it easier for the next one to take place, as this can become a theme that you may come back to if things change in your life. This does not mean that you will keep having this conversation all the time, it might only crop up rarely, but it is not something to shy away from.
Getting started can be hard, so the easiest way to start is to pick the most important topic to you, is it unwellness or death? Then think about what that means for you and what is important to you about that subject, this can be the starting point. Find out from your family how they think about it and what is important for them. You may know exactly what music you want at your funeral for example, but if they would hate it and it would do nothing but upset them, then perhaps you might rethink or they might have to.
Having tackled one of these subjects, it will then make it easier to talk about the other one and what is important to you and them about it.
This conversation needs to be in a place where all parties feel safe to say how they feel. And there can be no judgement; there are no right answers or wrong ones for that matter. It maybe that this is particularly difficult and the conversation could elicit emotions you or they were not expecting, which may means tears or anger for example.
To get you started you can always find out if there is a death café near by and go along to that, so that you can get that conversation going. There are many around, if you follow the #BigConversation.
Once you and your family have had this discussion, it will become a plan for what should happen when the worst happens. You may not become ill, but everyone dies, so sooner or later this will happen to you and your family. And it will be devastating for the survivors, which is as it should be. But when that devastation hits, at least your family will know what to do, they will know what you want and following your plans and discussions will provide them with the comfort that they know they are doing what you discussed. And before that happens, you have the comfort of know that this is what will happen.
The scars of bereavement take a while to heal, but knowing that you are doing what the deceased wanted goes a long way to helping those scars heal and the survivors move on and have loving positive memories of their relationship with you.