Share Your Story
Hearing about others' experiences can be helpful when dealing with death and bereavement. Do you have a personal experience that you'd feel comfortable sharing with the campaign? If so, let us know...
I had never really thought about my own death and how it would affect all those around me until my mother and sister passed away within two years of each other. My mother was 57 and my sister only 28. Trying to decide the songs, hymns and readings they would like at their funeral was hard enough, but more importantly having to choose whether they wanted to be buried or where they would like their ashes scattered was an extremely difficult decision at a very painful time.
This is when I came up with the idea for onceivegone.com. I have known for years the songs I want at my own funeral, songs that hold a big significance in my own life. I want my funeral to be a happy event as it’s the way that I have always lived my life. No black to be worn and no sad songs. I also know that I want my ashes to be scattered at sea (legally of course) on a glorious sunny day at my favourite beach.
The idea of being able to leave heartfelt video messages for your loved ones and friends was especially important. It certainly doesn’t replace telling them how you feel when you are with them, but it does leave them something special that they can keep forever. I would love to have a video message from my mum or sister that I could watch whenever I am missing them, or to show to my kids when they grow up, but sadly this site wasn’t available then.
When we avoid the subject of death, we are really just burying our heads in the sand. It’s going to happen to us all at some point and avoiding it certainly won’t make it go away. So why not discuss it with your friends and family, let them know your preferences and find out about their own.
Log on, ensure that your final wishes are carried out and that when you do finally go (hopefully when you are very, very old and grey) you leave something amazing behind, making a very difficult time for your family much easier.
Thanks for reading
The Dying Matters Coalition is led by the National Council for Palliative Care,
the umbrella charity for end of life care in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Freephone 08000 21 44 66