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It is only after one experiences a loved one’s death, do we learn a lesson before dying. Death, a natural life’s cycle is one of life’s most unspoken subjects. It is the least planned and is often left to those left behind to begin the guess work about what they [the decedent] would have wanted? If there is more than one person responsible for the decisions, the challenge becomes even more difficult. To often issues and arguments ensue with different opinions over how things need to be done. This guess work doesn’t begin and end with mere funeral details. It continues on with decisions over material things, virtual assets and in some cases, those wanting to continue traditions that others may not.

A lesson before dying is to have your wishes made clear and accessible to all those that matter and if at all possible, have them pre-planned. As this may seem as a subject one wouldn’t want to speak about, the benefits of doing so far out weigh the consequences of not. When the guess work is removed, one leaves behind a great gift. It’s the gift that allows those left behind to come together and begin their bereavement bonded, rather than divided. It allows for them to begin their journey with grief comforted that one’s wishes are being honored and respected.

If you’ve ever had to make these decisions, a lesson before dying is more obvious. Chances are that you’ve been faced with decisions similar to those above. But it’s not all about those decisions. It’s also about the challenges of finding paperwork, security codes, accounts, contacts of those who would want to know of your loved one’s death – the list goes on and it often does for months, sometimes more than a year as things are discovered. How did this “unspoken” subject interfere with your journey with grief?

Following through with this lesson before dying may have additional benefits not so obvious. It offers opportunity to reflect on one’s own life and mortality. Perhaps to heal old wounds, to make amends, to value life in the present which is often a result of thinking of one’s own death and to take control of your own destiny be designing your own good-bye.

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