When someone we love dies, we lose that physical connection with him or her. It goes deeper than just being able to physically touch the person. Not having them around to our share days with causes considerable pain. The person who has died won’t be dropping by for coffee, making our favourite dish, or telling wonderful stories. Our lives are forever changed when someone dies. While some of us have religious or spiritual beliefs, the fact that our loved ones are not with us is something we all have to grapple with in our grief. This loss is part of the deal when we love people. Each one of us comes with an expiration date.
The knowledge of our own mortality and others we love causes a lot of resistance to speaking about death. Few of us really enjoy talking about death. Fewer still enjoy speaking about the death of people we love. Talk we must if we truly wish to cause as little pain upon our death. I do not recommend telling those you love that you don’t care what they do with your body. Don’t tell them to put your body out back so that animals can get you. Don’t tell them to flush your cremains down the toilet. You might not care what happens to your body after death. That is fine, but those who love you have known you through your body and might want to honor your body in death. Instead, start a small conversation with whoever will be in charge of your body after death. You can even say you don’t care what happens to your body, but ask them what they might want to do for your burial. If you have a plan, let them know. Remember, it’s not necessarily the coffin, shroud or urn that will cause the greatest resistance to the conversation; it’s the idea of not having you around anymore. Be gentle and have some humor, but talk to your family and let them know you have thought about your death. Write the plan down and put the plan where someone knows to look for it. Once the talk is done and a plan is written, much of the fear and anxiety will dissipate. We often don’t realize how much energy we give our fear of death.