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When Your Final Day Comes . . . Will You Be Ready?

Preparing for death is perhaps the most profound and sobering acts we will ever experience.  We are all aware that death is an inevitable part of living but we spend the majority of our life thinking of it as some mysterious journey we’ll take far, far in the future. However, once we reach a certain age we realize the future isn’t infinite for mere mortals and we wonder how we will make the transition.

Taking the first step.

Attending to practical issues is probably the easiest part of preparing for the end of life. If you haven’t already, now is the time to get your legal business in order. Who will be in charge of your life if you’re suddenly unable to make your wishes known? Talking with someone about that responsibility now rather than later is wise. Some people choose to appoint a Health Care Power of Attorney and create a Living Will.  That way there will be no question about your wishes in case you can’t speak for yourself. Once you make up your mind to do it, the process itself is not difficult and you can find abundant information about how to create legal documents.

Everyone needs to update his or her will every five years.  Assets change, friend and family members come and go, and this could be your final opportunity to make a difference in the lives of the people you love. This process can take months of planning to come up with a satisfying way to distribute your assets and treasured possessions, so make sure you allow plenty of time to give these things careful thought.

Part of preparing for your last days is to write out burial wishes and ask someone to execute them for you. Taking care of all of this legal business now lifts a huge burden from your shoulders because you know whoever has to make the final decisions will know what you want.

Healing the spirit.

Once the legal business is taken care of, many people feel ready to begin healing their soul. Again, we know death is part of life, but it’s sad to think of all the personal and potential losses we each will have to face one day. Now is the time to face any fears you may have about money, growing older, being in pain, being alone, loss of cognitive ability, and lastly, your own fear of death. What belief systems do you have in place that will help you come to peace about the end?

Once you decide to prepare to die, peace can find you. This isn’t a morbid fixation on death but is a way to help ensure your last days are the best they can be. Don’t be afraid to feel your own feelings and think your own thoughts as you encounter nearing the end of your life. Learning how to die is not something we are taught how to do.  It’s something we all have to work out for ourselves but we don’t have to do it alone.  There are support groups available to help you find your way.  Some people find reaching out to others transitioning to death helps them prepare physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

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