This week I went to London to take part in some market research for a financial client. It was really interesting and we were talking about how I plan my finances and we especially focussed in on investments and long-term saving. Since becoming freelance I have thought much more about my financial well being and taken steps to invest because I know that I have to provide for myself in my older age.
However, one thing that I was not expecting was to start crying when discussing money. I didn’t cry because I worry about money, far from it. Instead, I got upset when talking about what had led me to invest and what had been the drive behind it. The drive was my Popa and those that know me, know just how much he meant to me. Popa died 18 months ago and my tears still fall when I think of him. It is still not easy for me to think of him without getting emotional. But that is grief. It takes time and I still miss him dreadfully.
Grief is a long process and it takes time. Death is one of those things that we don’t like to think about or talk about. Many of us don’t plan for our funerals or even talk to those that we love about their funeral plans. It is often left to those nearest to plan a funeral when they themselves are in emotional turmoil and may not know how or what to plan.
Popa was poorly for the last few months of his life and we knew he was dying, it was not sudden but still, it doesn’t change how much when it happens it sends you into a full on head spin where you need to make decisions when it is the last thing you want to be doing.
There are however practical things that you need to plan for and things that you can do to make the process easier.
- Firstly know where your dearest keeps their legal documents. We turned the house upside looking for Nan and Popa’s wedding certificate. We had everything, including Popa’s old Army papers but that wedding certificate could not be found and we spent a long time searching! If you have the paperwork it makes things easier as you need to know key information.
- Consider getting the power of attorney if your family member is still at full capability, this helps as you can manage their financial affairs if they are poorly and in a hospital for a length of time. This needs to be done before they get too ill and it also takes time so do consider this in advance as it can really help to be able to remove this burden from someone.
- When you register a death you need to prove that you are the right person to do that, and that means knowing full names and dates. Again make sure that you have this information to hand as otherwise, you may not be able to register the death and get the death certificate needed for the funeral. A death certificate is needed before booking a service.
- Do know if the person you are organising a funeral for has any wishes that might include the type of service they want or readings for example. Have this conversation before it is too late if you can. That way you will be respecting their wishes which can help you make decisions.
- Organising a service is a huge responsibility and if you don’t know where to start or know how to find local providers then LocalFuneral.co.uk is designed to make the process easier for you. Simply search for funeral directors using your postcode. This will connect you with a choice of local, independent funeral directors who will help you through this time.
- For many explaining death to children is very hard and so is the decision on allowing them to come to the funeral, this post I previously wrote Should Children Go To Funerals gives guidance on taking children to have their final goodbyes.
Finally, grieving takes time, and as I said 18 months in, I am still winded by grief and the huge hole that my Popa has left in my life. Therefore be kind to yourself and don’t ever think you should grieve in any specific way. Sometimes there will be conversations that hit you like a ton of bricks and you had no idea it was coming. This was how I felt just this week when talking about investing! It really can be the most unexpected conversations or happenings that affect you.