26 August 2012
Following on from yesterday’s entry about dying, there have been subtle changes in the attitude of people around me which point to the fact that they too accept that my time might be nigh. Whereas six months ago ‘my lovely’, bravely taking the stance that I might well have a year or two before me now faces the truth of the situation and asks me for such things as my preference for cremation or burial, this after a meeting with my stockbroker explaining our tactics for providing the right sort of income for her, after I have gone.
There was the reconsideration of the Advance Directive for the medics informing them of the circumstances when I would not wish to be resuscitated.
Then there was a perfectly correct question from my son, as to the contact details of my Webmaster and what provision has been made for the last entry. I told him that I had written it many months ago and I may or may not revise it but now, in any event he now it knows where to locate it.
All of my desired arrangements for a small family service followed by a Memorial service in London, some weeks or months later, are entrusted to son Miles, but with final say on the Order of Service and the choice of hymns to ‘my lovely’ other than one or two little personal requests of my own.
Whereas a few months ago there may have been some embarrassment had I raised these issues but now they seem to be sensible precautions with all my close family and intimate friends now seemingly prepared to accept that I might not be around this time next year or next month!
My will has long since been carefully prepared. One thing I learned from my good friend Dr James Snowdon Barnett was the concept of a Running Schedule for minor bequests. This, if you like, take the place of codicils. Each time you come across some small item, generally of little value, you can add that bequest to your Running Schedule.
To come full circle to the issue raised in the last entry, that of my attitude towards death and and has my attitude towards it changed recently? I think I can honestly say that it has not. If I were to block out all other distractions and think deeply on the subject I might find that deep down in my subconscious, I was more concerned than I like to admit but unless I carry out this exercise I shall never know. Frankly, I’d prefer to follow the whole thrust of this blog and live for the day (Carpe Diem).
What I do not want is for my readers to think that where, all this time, I have been determined to take an optimistic on my situation that I have suddenly changed and become pessimistic. That conclusion would be entirely wrong. I am only being pragmatic in considering the sort of issues that I have listed about and the fact that I can do this emotionally is, itself, proof that I am maintaining my positive approach to dying.
In all this is very important to consider the feelings of your family and loved ones who might well have a different view to you and to the prospect of your death. All you can do is to try to convince them that you are not afraid even without the comfort of believing in God.
Just to satisfy those readers who are still doubtful about a change in my attitude towards dying and proof and I’ve not lost my sense of humour Click here