Just like how you can live a good life, it is also possible to have a good death. We all hope for it – to pass peacefully and for our family members to be provided for. It is the final life experience worth thinking about. And to accomplish these goals, there should be a plan in place.
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What does a good death mean to you
Death is as unique as one’s fingerprints, and a good death is one that aligns with the individual’s wishes and values. In general, people want to be able to decide how they want to die, minimise pain and suffering, and receive support to fulfill their spiritual practices.
They also care about their quality of life, dignity, have family present and feel a sense of completeness. People have different priorities in their own death, hence this is why it’s important to find out what you consider is a good death so your wishes can be honoured. Let’s take a closer look at the steps to take to plan accordingly.
1. Live well
Keeping yourself physically healthy and fit is not the only important factor. You may not be living a full life if “a part of you is dying every day”, whether you have resentment, unresolved anger, or a dead-end job that is unfulfilling. When you look back, consider whether you will be at peace with how you lived. Some people consider living well to having made connections with other human beings and taking part in a good cause.
2. Your priority
Whether it’s a hobby you love or spending time with family, make time for the things you care about most. If possible, let go of grudges and resolve estrangements. Connect with the people you love, and contribute to a cause that is meaningful to you. For some, they choose to spend less money on material possessions and more on having experiences. Think about your priorities now and savour those moments, so you can hopefully minimise any regrets later.
3. Convey your wishes
Your family and loved ones need to be kept in the loop regarding your wishes and preferences, especially in a medical emergency. In a situation where you are incapacitated and unable to carry out a decision, they will know what should be done. For example, do you want the medical team to do everything possible to keep you alive or stop treatment if the chances are slim that your health can be improved. Ultimately, ask yourself what is the type of life you value.
4. Making funeral arrangements
Ensuring that your family is provided for can also be an important part of planning a good death. You can handle practical things like life insurance and bank accounts, leaving your loved ones free to focus on grieving instead of having to carry out the logistics of your death. This includes pre-planning for funeral services, so that you are able to plan and set aside the necessary funds, in order to lessen the burden on your family and give them a peace of mind as well. At the same time, you can carry out your choices, from casket services to burial options, accordingly.
It takes courage to face our fears and talk about death. You may not have all the answers but you can start planning gradually to set yourself up for a good death and provide your loved ones some peace as they grieve and the inspiration to live a good life too.