Death is not something we naturally want to think or talk about- we go to any lengths to avoid it. But… the truth of the matter is, whether we talk about it or not, one day, we - you and I, will die.
The cycle of life and death is as natural as the breeze in the air.
In avoiding acknowledging death and dying we do ourselves and others a great disservice.
After a person dies, the effects on the people left behind can be devastating in all ways - emotionally, physically, and financially.
You will experience shock and numbness, even if the death was expected, you will find it hard to think clearly, your body may go into convulsions, cry uncontrollably, feel angry, sad, guilty, resentful - all in a short and prolonged space of time.
You will need to make important decisions quickly, which puts added pressure on an already highly stressful situation. I find even making a cup of tea a challenge after a death.
We have a responsibility to ourselves and the people in our lives to lessen the burden on our loved ones after we die. It’s our final act of kindness.
Here’s how to lessen the burden on your loved ones after you die
Tell people how much they mean to you.
Boy oh boy, I wish that I had done this with both my mum and my dad before they died. (30 years on) my mum was dying of cancer and she was at home with us for her final weeks, and not a word was said about it or how we felt about it or each other. With my dad, it was quite sudden, one afternoon talking about Xmas presents, and by the evening he was dead.
Sort out any rocky relationships.
Following a death, emotions are running high, and if you had a rocky relationship or unfinished business with the person, then the usual guilt, anger, resentment will be magnified. By sorting out these relationships now, it will smooth the way for the time that follows and lessen the burden on our loved ones after we die, and limit the potential for family conflicts.
Write your Will, leaving instructions and guardians for your children under 18 or dependent children.
When no Will has been left, there is the potential for family arguments and conflicts ensue, due to no instructions being left to say who gets “mum's jewellery”, or because a person feels they are entitled to receiving something, perhaps more than the others because they have physically cared for the person up until their death or because they were older, or have children so should get more of the share etc.
Children under 18 or adult dependants can be taken into Care when no Will is left.
If that person didn’t leave a Will, children under 18 or dependants are left without a named person Guardian to take care of them at a time when they have been left emotionally traumatised and in most need of love and care.
As a consequence are placed in Care whilst the court decides on who is to take care of them.
This may not be the person with whom you would want to raise your children or to make decisions over your dependant’s care.
If you need support in making a start on writing a Will, or in getting clear on important decisions such as whom to ask to be the Guardians for your children or whom to ask to be your Executors, then you can book to come on an Empower Hour with me.
Have all your passwords have written down, accounts, and paperwork sorted. It can be added grief and burden for people left to organize things after a person dies.
Technology has made our lives easier on many levels but it has also complicated matters, with having so many different accounts and passwords for all aspects of our lives, from shopping to banking to social media.
When acting as an Executor for my dear friend who died recently, I found that I couldn’t access his laptop because he had changed his password and didn’t tell us! This caused enormous added stress as all his information was on the computer. You can read more here.
I'm in the process of launching my new service Life Laundry where together we get all your paperwork, household accounts, and passwords in order, to leave for your loved ones. I am taking orders, so you can email me - email@example.com - to get yourself on the waiting list.
Make your wishes known beforehand for your funeral to lessen the burden on your loved ones after you die
Arranging a funeral is one of the most expensive purchases you can make, especially if you do not know what to expect when contacting a Funeral Director after a loved one has died. And when you are raw with grief and in this vulnerable space you are not in a great position to be making any, let alone sound financial decisions.
If you who make your wishes known beforehand as to what type of funeral you might want, whether you wish to be buried or cremated - this is a good starting point in lessening the burden on your loved ones left behind.
Educate and Empower yourself
There is a saying we don’t know what we don’t know. And making mistakes is how we learn for next time, but I don’t advise doing that, it’s a hard and painful way to learn!
There is no second chance when someone gets sick and dies, so why not be prepared beforehand? You would make preparations ahead of time for birth, so it makes sense to do the same for death.
You can book a call with me to find out how I can support you with this.
So as you can see there are many simple things you can do to lessen the burden on your loved ones after you die.
You can leave a Will to ensure the well-being of your children, dependents, and family, minimise the risk of family conflict.
You can sort out any unfinished business, address rocky relationships, and tell people how much they mean to you. This will not only improve your quality of life, but it will support your loved ones greatly in their time of grief and loss- both emotionally, physically, and financially.
Book an Empower Hour with me, to empower yourself with the knowledge and information you need to lessen the burden on your loved ones when you die.
Register for my free webinar Sort your End of Life Plans with Ease - empowering yourself with the knowledge and information you need to lessen the burden on your loved ones after you die.
Join my private Facebook group - No Regrets where I share valuable content on all aspects of end-of-life planning, top tips, and plus we're a lovely worldwide community supporting each other.
Thank you for reading.