Dying is the great 21st century taboo. We all know it will happen to us at some point but we tend not to want to think or talk about it. Yet thinking and talking about it can make our lives so much easier and better! It can also mean that those we love feel that love - even after we are gone.
My hope is that this website can put us all in touch with the many forms of help available in Rutland. Whether this be help to remain at home, to move to protected living or a nursing home, to make a will, write a power of attorney, set out a statement of wishes about future care, plan a funeral, arrange the logistics after a death or cope with its emotional effects… There is so much to think about! I hope that this site can provide a friendly hand and make these emotional tasks as easy as possible.
When my mother, who was living independently (and neither ill nor, it seemed to me, old) started ‘getting her house in order for when I die’, I thought it was morbid. I was rather shocked. However, she tidied her house quite literally – threw away lots of junk, gave other things to my brother and me and took things to local charity shops. The house was still home, but ordered and not full of years of clutter. She ensured her will was up to date. My mother then, it transpired, arranged her funeral and visited and chose the crematorium she wanted. She had even arranged with a good friend to keep in close touch with my brother and I in the event of her death, to ensure we were all right.
To my (and her) surprise, my mother died suddenly a few years later. Her preparations for death, that had seemed rather ghoulish to me at the time, now felt like what they were - an act of love. Through the fog of grief there she was, guiding my brother and me. We knew that we were doing what she wanted. The funeral and burial were as she wished – because we found the file detailing her plans, alongside her will (copy with the solicitor), in her bureau. Clearing the house was relatively easy because it had been sorted. Her will made it clear who was to have what – so no possible arguments. I will always remain grateful to her, not just for all the good things she did in her life but for loving my brother and I so well that she ensured her death was as easy as possible.
I intend to do the same for my daughter.
Dr Sarah Furness