This is a photo I took of my parents’ joint funeral.
Unbelievably, they both died in the same week, in their sleep, aged 86 and 84. My dad had had a stroke a year previously and hadn’t been doing too well, so it wasn’t entirely unexpected when I got a phone call one morning saying he hadn’t woken up.
You imagine ahead to your traditional dinner: you know what you will be eating, you know who you will be celebrating with, you know where you will be – but suddenly your heart drops. This year there will be an empty chair round that table.
We all know that writing a will is a good idea, but many of us never find the time to get around to it. “I’m too young. I don’t have anything to leave behind. I’ll set my affairs in order.” These are all statements many of us have used to procrastinate creating a will, or refute the idea altogether.
Maria and Arthur are coming towards the end of their lives. They are a couple I know, who raised four children, had vibrant and dynamic careers at the prime of their lives, lived in different countries and made a very positive and significant contribution to the world in various ways.
Sylvia was distraught. “If only I had noticed the extent to which he was in pain! I mean, if I had noticed, then I could have insisted he went to the doctor earlier. What if I had done that? If only I had! He might still be alive and with me today.”
One of the top 5 regrets of the dying is “I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.” Given that we never know when our life is going to come to an end, it’s a really good idea to not only express our feelings, but by doing that, keep our relationships up to date and healthy.