Dying to be different

There is currently a lot of discussion about death and dying and, more specifically, about how to do it as YOU want, not how others think you should. As assisted dying begins to be legislated, we are being drawn to consider not just when, but also how, we want to move on.

The funeral industry is changing as more people question their options and reject the ‘standard’ coffin/cremation/burial. Now your coffin can be made of cardboard, woven grass or felted wool; you don’t necessarily need a coffin - your ashes can be put into a pod, along with the seed of a favourite tree that you will nourish in the years to come; you can be interred in a natural burial ground or a living forest; you can be farewelled in true Viking fashion, set out to sea in a burning boat; your ashes can be scattered by a drone or loaded into a firework and shot into the atmosphere. The choices seem endless.

There are many resources to help you plan your future - not just the funeral part, but also the dying bit. And the most important thing is that you tell someone/s about your plans and your wishes. Jolene Hill, who established www.yourlifetalks.com and www.yourlifeassist.com.au, firmly believes that the emergency room is no place to have these conversations. And so she developed a set of conversation cards that encourage people to tell their stories, with the opportunity for families to record them.

This is not just for those of us now known euphemistically as ‘seniors’, but really it’s for everyone, as we don’t always know when we are to depart our mortal coil.

I thus entreat you to check out the above websites and contact me if you would like further information. In a voluntary capacity, I will happily run sessions using the cards with individuals or groups.

It’s never too soon, but it could be too late.