I know, I know… Death is everyone’s least favourite topic.
Understandably so. It would kill the mood at any party. (I assume. I’ve never tried.)
I watched a fascinating TED talk by Michelle Knox called “Talk about your death while you’re still healthy“.
She calls death “the one life event we are ALL going to experience.” That’s an interesting way of thinking about it. The one thing we all have in common, we don’t want to share.
She says that not talking about death doesn’t make the subject easier to deal with. In fact, it makes it much harder. Especially for those actually dealing with it now. People who are facing the death of a loved one. Or even their own death.
If no one is prepared to talk about death, who are we supposed to depend upon at the most difficult time in our lives? Where do we learn things like how to deal with hospices, death certificates, funeral arrangements, headstone wording, wills…. Who will understand and weather the confused emotions of grief with us?
Now I don’t want to panic you: Lenka and I are both happy and healthy. And that is exactly why it seemed like the right time to talk about it. We’re not ill, or tired, or emotional. We can think clearly and express ourselves and our wishes well.
Knowing exactly what is important to a friend or family member means, when the time comes, you can be sure you’re doing what they would want. You don’t have to worry about getting it “wrong”. You can find peace.
So, as we approach Allhallowtide, the only time of year that we really all think about death, perhaps take a moment to let the subject out of its dark cave.
Talk about your wishes. Release the fear around death. Let go of the taboo. Empower your family with the peace in knowing what matters most to you. And to them.
After all, it’s the one thing we all have in common.