Simplicity & Connection Thought Leader – Kay Newton
In the summer of 2022, aged 60, I wrote my eulogy.
I am not expecting to die soon! The process was purely a written exercise, a way of connecting to myself. What I learned was simple and powerful.
Firstly, no one gets out alive. Secondly, Western society has made death a taboo subject, and we do not give dying enough thought. Thirdly, when you acknowledge death and prepare for the end, you create space to live each day full of purpose and meaning.
Why Do We Need To Talk About Death?
Yes, I can confirm even if we think we are immortal, death comes to all of us. We may not know when or how, yet it is an eventuality. Even with heightened death awareness due to the Covid pandemic, a staggering 67% of Americans have no plans for what will happen to them or their assets in case of disability or death.
When you take the time to face death head-on and make peace with dying, you create a sense of freedom. There is much to tackle; creating wills, and living wills, preparing paperwork for executors to find, finding your social media account passwords, and directives for the funeral itself (which may include a eulogy). The subject of dying can feel overwhelming, yet when you take simple step-by-step actions, the worrying weight is no longer upon your shoulders.
“The subject of dying can feel overwhelming..”
Costs To Your Loved Ones:
Without preparation today, you create unnecessary future stress, probable arguments and unforeseen costs for your loved ones. Yet you do not have to tackle paperwork and directives alone, and it does not have to be done all in one go.
As baby boomers continue to age, there is a growing industry in death. Death doulas, end-of-life planners and even the growing trend of Swedish death cleaning.
Why Writing A Eulogy Is Worth It:
There is strength in writing a piece that may be of use to your loved ones when they are at their most stressed. Even though you are no longer with them, you are there in spirit, helping them in their time of need. When grief is in control, dealing with authority, making decisions and being creative creates overwhelm.
“I utilized some of my funnier life stories.”
Writing your eulogy is like writing your obituary, allowing you control over how people remember you. For example, when my father died, I asked two of his Archery companions to help create and deliver the eulogy based on our conversations with him. At the end of the service, a friend approached and said it was one of the better funerals she had attended recently, as she had learnt a lot about my father.
Taking time with pen and paper also allows you to see how far you have come down the path of life. In my case, I utilized some of my funnier life stories. These may have gotten lost amongst the serious stuff.
Writing also gives you motivation for the years you still have before you. Leading to the contemplation of powerful questions such as – What do you imagine people will remember about you? What do you want the rest of your life to stand for? Are you living your life true to your innermost values? And what don’t you want them to remember about you?
There are many different ways to write a eulogy, and I chose humour to create light and happiness during a potentially tearful time. To begin the process, I asked those I loved the most for their input. They recalled funny personal stories about me. Feedback was gratefully received, sifted, and the best pieces were chosen.
You can read the whole piece here.
If you like to go through the exercise yourself, and want some guidance, reach out for a chat.
6 Simple Steps To Dying Confidently:
Here is a simple checklist to consider before you die.
- Get help with all things official, overwhelming or just irritating!
- Have all your paperwork in order. (Wills, living wills/advance directives, bank information, insurance policies, online accounts and passwords, current utility bills, tax information)
- Make sure everyone knows where to find these files. A fireproof safe is a great place to store everything.
- Include a personal letter for your loved ones and wishes for the funeral day itself.
- Get rid of personal clutter or items you would not want your loved ones to find.
- Write your obituary and eulogy.
No one knows who first used the phrase, ‘Today is a good day to die’. When you are confident in your skin, have lived each day to the best of your ability and have prepared for dying, it is a perfect phrase to start each day that you have left on the planet.
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About the Author:
Kay is the founder of Midlife Strategies, an award-winning International Speaker, and enthusiastic author. She is an acknowledged expert guiding women to find their mojo, through the Midlife Squeeze.
Kay’s books include:
- ‘The Art of Midlife Stress Busting – Seven Steps to Declutter Your Mind Without Pills or Potions’
- ‘How to Clean Your Home Organically – De-Stress Your Surroundings’
- ‘Tips and Tricks For Stress-Free Downsizing – A Step by Step Guide to Moving On’
- Co-author of the six Kindle books in the ‘Quick Fix For’ series, and a contributing author to ‘Hot Women Rock’ and ‘A Journey of Riches’.
Today, Kay lives a simple life next to a beach in Mallorca, Spain. You can find Kay here: www.KayNewton.com.