I’m Dead, Now What?Oct 04, 2022
Autumn is a season of shedding and letting go, and in the tradition of Chinese Medicine, is associated with grief and loss. I have lost several family members in the past two years, so the journey of loss is front and center for me these days.
And while there is much to consider about the process of grieving, what is on my mind to share today is how we prepare for our own death, in very practical ways.
In my family, the art of planning ahead for the one undeniable eventuality of life - death - has not been deeply explored, to put it gently. So I have been learning just how complicated and confusing it can be for survivors of loved ones who die without a plan.
And, while I have a few of elements of a good death plan in place, there are still many large and gaping holes. So I am feeling the tension of insufficiency quite acutely.
Enter I’m Dead, Now What?* I recently happened upon this book and ordered it immediately. Somehow it manages to cover all the important elements of a death plan without being overwhelming or oppressive. And yes, it’s quirkly title totally works for me.
The idea is to work your way through the book, filling in each section with old fashioned pen or pencil, or noting where the info is located digitally. When finished, you have an easy to find and sue guide for your loved ones who will be managing your life affairs after you die.
I appreciate that it is an actual physical book. For one, its presence on the coffee table is hard to ignore. And the act of writing and turning pages is soothing while engaged in what can be an unsettling process.
Death planning is right up there on the “what I don’t feel like doing right now” list along with earthquake planning and home fire drills. But not having a plan creates low-level nagging stress. You know you should deal with this, but you keep putting it off.
Logically we all know we need to deal with this. Because we truly never know when our time will come. But emotions run strong in the direction of avoidance or denial. Natural enough. But at some point, we need to take ourselves in hand and create a plan. It’s important for our loved ones, and it’s important for our own mental health while still alive and kicking.
This book is working for me. But I have just started. If you are among the many who don’t have a clear and defined plan for those surviving you to know how to close out your bank accounts, your social media accounts, who will take care of your pets and plants, and how you want to be cared for while dying and how you want to be remembered, who you want to be notified etc., I invite you to get a copy of the book (or something similar) and start the process.
Feel free to email me and let me know you are on the path.
*Disclaimer - Energy Matters is a bookshop.org affiliate and will receive 10% whenever someone buys a book we share. We only post staff picks in our bookshop.org store - you can view these titles here.