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Dealing with end of life

Practical help when you most need it
Sometimes the help people need at a time of loss is very down to earth and practical as the following story reveals

Brett’s story

Dad wasn’t young when he passed away. In fact he was in his late 70’s and had been ill for some time. However, even knowing that he was unlikely to outlive his last illness, we as a family didn’t use that valuable time to plan anything practical about his funeral plans. Perhaps it’s that very British reserve on not wanting to talk about ‘difficult’ subjects – sex, death and money to name at least three

It meant that when dad did die, I had little idea of death’s practicalities. I was in my forties but had no idea of how to register a death, arrange a funeral or deal with his estate. Perhaps I had thought my mom could help – mom’s always know best – little realising that this was the least thing she needed or wanted after losing a partner of over fifty years.

Most upsetting was the realisation that we had not asked dad about the things which were important to him. For instance he was a great classical music fan, and yet I had never asked him about the words and music he would like to be played. Now I wonder if he thought my reticence was a lack of interest. He had a great record collection – perhaps he had a charity he would like it donated to

My advice to anyone is, difficult as it is, try to plan ahead, talk about the arrangements, the music and the legacy. It means you won’t have to make difficult decisions at a time when you least want to.

Practical Help

Arranging a funeral

The Natural Death Centre believe that a ‘good funeral’ is one where you  feel in control of what happens, and where you are given clear information about the choices available to you. Download their leaflet

Writing a eulogy

At this time, words mean so much. Yet most people faced with delivering eulogy find it difficult to write and deliver. Co-operative Funeral Care have produced a brief guide, forwarded by former Poet Laureate Andrew Motion Download How To Write a Eulogy

Sandwell Compassionate Communities - End Of Life Care & Support - Coping with Death and Dying - Palliative Care

Murray HallBridgesNHS West MidlandsSandwell NHS