For me death is real. It’s something that’ll happen to all of us at some time. It’s unavoidable, and no matter what I do, I can’t change that. What I can change is my fear of it, and understand that I can control my choices for when the time comes.
I’m organised, and like many others, I write lists, lots of lists. Lists to shop with, lists of things I’d like to achieve #bucketlist, lists of things I have accomplished plus many more. Why should my funeral be any different? I envisage certain things; I can feel how it will be, even hear the music I want to play all in my mind. I want to be part of it, but mostly I want to control it. From the flowers to the music, right down to making sure they only have photo’s of me that I like! It’s been planned and arranged. Would I have trusted someone else to make all my decisions for my wedding? No! Again, why should my funeral be any different?
Many times I have thought of my mortality, and I am seemingly calm and open about the whole experience yet to come. For a part of my working life I was a Funeral Director, and perhaps this has given me a special insight into the subject that no one likes to discuss. Death and the discussion regarding it, seems to be taboo in today’s society and I am not sure why?
I have seen many families struggle with the loss of a loved one, have listened to their concerns and worries, witnessed them try to cope with their grief as well as the added pressure of funeral arrangements, which are often too much to bear. But, with no prior arrangement, they are somewhat unavoidable. It made me think about my family. What could I change? How could I help them not live this experience so harshly? How could I protect myself when it was my turn to make those arrangements for someone I love?
My mission was to change my perception of my funeral and in doing so alter the minds of those around me. I talk about death and dying, rather than keep it the taboo, morbid subject it’s known as. Those around me now know that part of my everyday conversation will focus on life, legacy and the fact that I am very aware that we are on this earth for a finite amount of time. Funeral ‘speak’ flows smoothly in my vocabulary, yet doesn’t seem to offend others. It allows me to talk frankly about what I know and what I would recommend for a funeral service to those that ask or are willing to listen.