What is Death Positivity? 0

Death positivity is an attitude towards life and death that emphasises the importance of open and honest discussion about death and a re-familiarisation with end of life processes. Rather than treating death as something that should be hidden away and not talked or thought about, death positivity argues that individuals should take a more open approach to death, break down the taboo surrounding the topic and not shy away from the difficulties of thinking and talking about it. In recent years, death positivity has become increasingly popular, even solidifying into a burgeoning movement of activists and practitioners that hope to spread the message about death positivity and what it can do.

 

What death positivity is not

Death positivity does not involve the glorification or trivialisation of death, nor does it consider it a good thing. Instead, it preaches that death is an inevitable part of life that we all will experience at some point. It does not aim to force people toward a certain perspective or world view, but does encourage an open approach toward the subject of death. Death positivity is not associated with any single organisation or religious authority and can be considered more of an attitude than a doctrine or rigid set of beliefs.

 

Why is death positivity important?

For many, the taboo surrounding death prevents them from openly discussing their feelings or grieving in a way that suits or benefits them. This taboo means that we often hide death away and don’t confront it directly – an attitude that can have profoundly negative effects on our ability to make essential end of life choices and ensure everything is prepared for someone’s eventual passing. The fear surrounding death can lead to individuals bottling up emotions and thoughts that really do need to be released, potentially making a tough time even more difficult.

 

While everyone must be allowed to grieve in their own way, death positivity is about removing barriers to healthy grief; with the intended consequence that people are able to deal with the challenges and trials of bereavement in a constructive way.

 

Many also find that choosing to take on a more positive attitude when it comes to mortality can liberate them from anxiety when it comes to their own death, and as a result feel that they are free to make the most of their finite lives.

 positive attitude to death

Why is death positivity emerging now?

The attitudes reflected in the philosophy of death positivity are hardly new ideas. They are ideas that are re-emerging now as a response to modern society’s detachment from death. As medical treatment and methods have improved over the years, death has intruded less on our everyday lives and we are not faced with its reality as regularly as past societies would have been. This has resulted in a detachment from the reality of death and a desire to avoid it as a topic. Similarly, the way in which we respond to death (our end of life customs and traditions), have changed significantly, limiting our exposure to death even further. The death positivity movement has emerged in an attempt to provide some perspective on death and to encourage greater interaction with the issue.

 

What can you do?

Although there are a number of organisations, such as The Order of the Good Death, which provide a more focused outlet for the ideas of death positivity, it’s more akin to a state of mind that can be adopted by individuals at any time than it is to a movement which you can join. You can start by beginning to talk with loved ones about their end of life wishes and asking a number of important questions. For instance: Do you have a will? How do you want to spend your last moments? What kind of funeral would you want? What do you think happens after death? These are a just a few ideas but are a good place to start if you wish to open up discussions about death. There are also death cafes around the country that allow individuals to talk openly about mortality. If you or a loved one is approaching end of life, you may wish to enlist the services of an end of life doula. A doula can often be an enormous source of comfort for someone who is unwell.

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How to Get the Most Out of Your Retirement 0

retirement

Whether you’re close to retirement age or not, the idea of life without work is an incredibly appealing prospect. However, if you want to get the most out of your retirement, it’s vital that you begin to think about what you want to take from it and how you can prepare for it.

 

Financially, there are a huge number of considerations to make, including savings, investments, pensions, funeral plans and wills, but you also need to think about how you can maximise your time and what kind of a life you want to live once you quit your job for good. Here we take a look at a few different ways you can get the most from your retirement.

 retirement

 

What do you want from retirement?

One of the key ways of ensuring you get what you want out of your retirement is by taking the time to consider how you want to spend the time and what you want to do with it. If you don’t know what you want from life after work, how are you going to ensure you achieve your goals? Everyone desires something different from retirement – be it a peaceful few years at home enjoying your hobbies, travelling the world or ticking off items on your bucket list – so it makes sense that people will need to prepare in different ways too.

 

Plan ahead

Once you understand exactly what you want from retirement, you can begin to work out how to achieve your aims. This will involve asking a number of important questions. How large will savings need to be? How many more years do you expect to work? How long is your retirement likely to be? Are there any other important financial considerations, such as rent, a mortgage, health bills or family commitments, to consider? Once you’ve answered such questions, you’ll be in a better position to budget for a financially secure future that’s able to deliver those things you really desire.

 

Reduce expenditure

One important but often forgotten means of ensuring a happy retirement is minimising the cost of those expenditures associated with old age. While a lot of people don’t consider a funeral plan until they are well into retirement, there’s enormous savings to be made if you begin thinking about these things now. With funeral costs rising at a far higher rate than inflation, a plan like the Beyond Open Plan could drastically reduce the amount you pay out for your funeral. By thinking ahead and taking out a plan like this now, you freeze the cost of your funeral at today’s prices and could avoid paying three times as much in 10 to 15 years’ time.

 

Prioritise

Finally, getting the most out of your retirement necessitates a certain amount of prioritisation. Realistically, you’re not going to be able to do absolutely everything you want with your retirement, so it’s important that you begin to think about what’s really vital to your plans and what you can afford to drop. Remember that life is full of surprises, so you don’t want to overstretch your savings and potentially leave yourself open to financial uncertainty. It’s always a good idea to maintain some savings as security should things not turn out quite as you had planned.

When should you start thinking about your own funeral? 0

thinking about your own funeral

Although there is no prescribed age at which you should begin thinking about your own funeral, there’s a number of reasons you shouldn’t leave it too late. Here we take a look at why it’s best to take a more practical approach and to start contemplating how you would like your own funeral to be at a much younger age.

 thinking about your own funeral

You’re never too young…

Ultimately, you’re never too young to start thinking about your own funeral. Though it may sound slightly macabre to talk about funeral arrangements before a funeral becomes a likely proposition, there are a number of advantages to beginning to contemplate what you would want from a memorial service and how you’re going to finance it. Often, planning ahead can leave you in a better financial position, make you feel more secure and help to ensure your funeral is exactly how you would like it to be.

 

Talking about death

One of the key advantages of beginning to think and talk about your funeral arrangements at a younger age is that it encourages us to talk about death and dying. In a number of ways, contemporary society is incredibly uncomfortable with death and has managed to sideline and hide it from view. We use euphemisms instead of referring to death directly, avoid discussions surrounding the topic, and try to push it from our minds as much as possible. Rather than accepting it as a part of life and treating it as such, death has become somewhat of a taboo subject. This can be both an unhealthy and unhelpful approach to take, so it’s important to start talking more openly at a younger age about death, dying and funerals.

 

Funeral Plan

There’s also a more practical reason for starting to think about your own funeral at an earlier stage in your life. If you begin by looking at the Beyond Open Plan, you’ll discover that such a plan freezes the price of a funeral at today’s rates. With the cost of funeral services expected to rise at an incredible rate over the next few years, this could save you an enormous amount of money in the long run. Not only does it guarantee a cheaper funeral, it gives you complete control over the arrangements, ensuring everything’s exactly as you want it.

 

It can be a comfort to your family

Organising a funeral is difficult, especially if you’re grieving. You want to make sure that every detail is as your loved one would have wanted it, from the music to the dress code. If you haven’t recorded your wishes anywhere, this places an added burden onto your family.

 

It only gets harder

Finally, it’s also important to think about what happens if you leave your funeral plans to the last minute. For some people, making their own funeral arrangements later in life doesn’t really pose a problem. For others, it can be extremely difficult. As we get older, when death becomes a more realistic proposition and we’re confronted with our own mortality, it can be a challenge to talk about these important issues. Rather than discussing them with family members or friends, many people avoid their fear of death by sidestepping the subject, leaving them unprepared at the end of their lives. By starting to talk about death at a younger age, we can ensure this isn’t the case.