What On Earth Has A TV Got to Do With Death?

Jane, one of the Festival's presenters, writes- I burst into tears. 15 days after my husband’s death, and I was alone in the house for the first time. I settled down on what used to be his chair with my TV dinner on my lap, ready to switch on. Picking up the remote, I pressed the button. It didn’t come up with the normal screen – and I didn’t know what to do next. He’d always been the one to take care of everything technical, and I’d been happy to let him. But now he wasn’t here anymore, and it had never occurred to me to find out how to fix the TV if it didn’t work properly. I couldn’t stop crying. The dinner got cold, as I yearned for his presence, railed against God for letting it happen, desperately wished it all could have been different. I’m writing about this because it’s one of the very basic, apparently tiny but really huge, things that can be attended to before someone dies. So have you made sure your family knows about this sort of thing? With all this talk of death and dying during this wonderful Festival, you could be forgiven for thinking you have attended to these kind of very practical matters. But how the TV works is just one of the 149 hugely useful questions you can ask and answer before you die, that will make your loved ones’ lives a lot easier, even in the midst of their grieving. 149 questions is a lot, and can in itself feel a bit daunting. But here’s the good news: If you’ve got an up to date will, that’s great, that covers a few of them. If you have an up to date Power of Attorney, that’s better, you’ve answered even more. If you have an Advance Directive, you’re in the few in the UK who do have. And yet… What will happen to your social media accounts after you die? Will your designated person be able to access your bank accounts? Do you even have a designated person (let alone an executor?) And there are still more to answer that will not only help you by bringing you relief, but will help your family or other people who are going to be taking care of the remains of your life once you have died. If you’ve ever been the executor of someone’s will, or had to deal with the practical aftermath of a relative’s death, you will know that there are many, many things to take care of. And this is AFTER all the funeral arrangements. From clearing the house, to allocating possessions, to taking care of all matters financial, the list can go on a bit. But you can help that process along the way. The more you have addressed these things before you go, the better it is for your relatives and friends after you’ve gone. Of course they will still be grieving, but they definitely do not need a whole lot of administrative headache on top of their existing heartache. Jane Duncan Rogers of http://www.giftedbygrief.comis giving a free talk at the Friends Meeting House, St Giles, Oxford on Tuesday 8th November 1-2pm if you’d like a taste of just what you can do regarding these matters. And if you want more than a taste, but to actually get something DONE (quite a different matter!) then join her on her very practical Before I Go workshop on the afternoons of Sat  and Sunday 12th and 13th November. You’ll receive a copy of her Before I Go: Practical Questions to Ask and Answer Before You Die workbook, and begin to answer some of those 149 questions then and there, in the company of others doing the same thing.  Find out more here: http://www.giftedbygrief.com/oxford-workshop