In Dying Matters Week Make Sure You Give Your Final Gift
It was Benjamin Franklin who said “There are two certainties in life – death & taxes” and whilst some people have made some successful manoeuvres to avoid the latter, obtaining immortality remains rooted in mythology.
No one likes to think of that final moment when they will cease to be. Many people refuse to acknowledge that their death is inevitable and their avoidance of the subject is absolute.
The only premeditated action prior to death that has been regularly practiced throughout history, is the writing of one’s Last Will & Testament. Originally commented on by Plutarch, it was Solon, a lawmaker of ancient Greece, who laid the legal foundations of these first wills. The purpose of these documents was simply to ensure that land-title, wealth or power never fell outside the bloodline.
Very little has changed and our focus still seems to be on the distribution of our worldly goods rather than making our end of life wishes known.
As a Civil Celebrant I work with many bereaved families who are faced with the task of making the funeral arrangements for a loved one. This process is never an easy one but those fortunate few who have been given the gift of information, either from a conversation shared prior to death or by generously written instructions left alongside or as part of the will of the deceased, find that a very difficult task is made easier.
This information is considered, by those who are bereaved, as the most precious of all gifts. Not only does it lift the burden of making choices at such a difficult time, it also allows them to make very personal arrangements which realise the final wishes of their beloved. I cannot think of a better final gift to give to the people I love…..can you?