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Planning A good Death (1) Live Simpler

Updated: Mar 8

We spend a lot of time planning our lives. We plan our studies, holidays and career trajectory. We plan for retirement, potential health problems and we insure our goods against a multitude of possibilities. We make these plans to try to ensure a good life.


But what about our death? Why are we not spending time being aware of what a good death would be? Not even one of us will escape the certainty of vacating our bodies. This means that one day we will not be here, but rather we will be 'there'. This means that the people we love will have to deal with all we leave behind. It also means other people will have to possibly make big decisions on our behalf if we don't die quickly.


So what can we do now to try to ensure a good death when our time comes?


Firstly we can gather information and build our knowledge of death, and also consider what happens once we have left for 'there'. While we cease to have concerns about 'here' once we are 'there', all we have gathered here will continue on with a life of it's own and someone will have to deal with it! So if you can't face your accumulated stuff, imagine how your children or spouse will feel when they have to confront it. Get rid of your clutter. We need to live with only what we want others to face should something happen to us. That should be one of the first steps of preparation for our Good Death.



Live a Marie Kondo Life


We don't need nearly as much as we think. 'Stuff' all has to go somewhere one day. Think clearly about how much stuff you really need. Simple is the new black.


Here are a few areas where you can start to declutter. Once you get going, don't stop!

  • Wardrobe: Nothing worse than deciding to do with someone else's clothing that they have been accumulating for the last 30 years. Keep only what you have worn in the last 2 years. I've heard that we need no more than 33 items in total. Donate or give away - someone else needs them more.

  • Books: No, you are never going to re-read all those old novels! Donate them to charity.

  • Paper Filing: You really only need to hold onto old records for 5 years and not 50. Shred it all, or e-store on a hard drive. Ensure relevant passwords are known to your next-of-kin. Ensure you have a 'When I die' file. Watch out for the workshop!

  • E-Filing: Delete all old stuff you no longer need including emails! This makes it easier for you to find relevant items and easier for next-of-kin to find relevant info. Arrange an e-file under a heading your next-of-kin will recognise as your relevant info such as ID, and other important docs.

  • Home: Disperse furniture and ornaments you don't need to your children or loved ones while you are alive. If they don't want it get rid of it now by donating or selling. They probably won't want it after you die either.

  • Kitchen and Cupboards: You really only need the items, crockery and gadgets that you use daily. Whatever you are holding onto 'in case' you need it - change the recipe or re-look the need and throw it out!

  • Garage: Keep this empty other than a great tool box, and essential garden and sporting equipment. If you need to store 'stuff' there you have too much. Give away!

Next: Planning a Good Death (2) - Drawing up an Advance Directive




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