It might seem odd to view death as something you can do well, but people are starting to take more of an interest in the concept of a ‘good death’. A good death can mean something different for everyone, depending on their religious values, cultural backgrounds, medical conditions and general attitudes towards death.
What is a good death?
A good death can include being prepared for when you die, having some control over where your death occurs, maintaining a sense of dignity and having your wishes respected.
Whilst conversations about good death are starting to become more common in palliative care settings, thinking about and planning for our death is something we should all be doing to ensure we feel less afraid and more prepared for when the time comes.
Good death and personal relationships.
When you know that your time is coming to an end, you might start to reflect on the life that you have led. This knowledge gives you time to reconcile damaged or broken relationships, resolve any regrets and have the chance to say goodbye to your loved ones.
Part of having a good death is having led a good life, and we shouldn’t be waiting until we’re running out of time to make amends, or even just to tell the people in our lives how much we love and care for them. What’s stopping you from making those amends now?
Having a say in your end-of-life care.
End-of-life care is deeply personal to every individual, but what people might not realise is how it can impact a good death. Some people view staying home in your comfortable safe space as the key to dying well. Others might feel more supported spending their last days in a hospital or palliative care.
It’s important to communicate what matters most to you to your family, friends and health care professionals. You can do this by writing an Advance Care Directive, or ‘Living Will’. An Advance Care Directive is a formal record of your advanced healthcare plan, including your needs, values and preferences for your future care. When prepared and executed correctly, this becomes a legally binding document.
Having your wishes and values listened to and respected is a key element of a good death - it won’t be good if it’s not what you wanted. If you fear loved ones may not respect your wishes, it’s especially important to create an Advance Care Directive.
Funeral arrangements for a good death.
A vital part of a good death is a funeral that honours your memory and is a reflection of the life you lived. Avoiding the preparation and planning for end-of-life only makes death feel scarier, when really it’s a fact of life that should be embraced. Earlier generations would pick out their plot at a cemetery and call it a day, but now there are many more options for those wanting to plan ahead.
You have a few options if you want to plan your funeral or memorial before you die. Some people might just want to inform their loved ones of their wishes before they pass away. For others, they might want to have full control of what their funeral or memorial looks like so the decisions aren’t left to their grieving loved ones. Some people will want to take financial control and pay for their funeral, so all of their affairs are dealt with.
Whatever you decide, know that preparing for your death is a good thing. It can help friends and family accept the inevitable and create meaningful conversations about your life and death.
Planning a prepaid funeral is a simple way to help achieve a good death. With Bare, you can arrange and pay for your farewell in advance, and save your family thousands of dollars and untold stress when the time comes.
Part of having a good death is leading a good life.
What is a good life? It can be described as a life that is self-fulfilling and has been filled with joy. It is also not the same for any two people, and everybody can have different perspectives on what a good life means to them.
A good death brings a good life to a full circle. By achieving a good death, you can have a fulfilling ending to a good life.
If you’re interested in planning ahead and prepaying for your funeral, visit bare.com.au or call our prepaid concierge team on 1800 202 901.