Discussing wishes/plans

In 2012 John was informed secondary cancer was in inoperable but a trial treatment was available. After the trial ended he had a brief break and we went to Venice & Florence, our last holiday. John wasn’t strong enough to fully enjoy the holiday. That’s when John started preparing for the end. We picked a spot we liked and bought the plot at the cemetery for both of us. He arranged for a funeral director to come round but I got so upset I ran up in tears. I regret that very much, John was trying to make things easy for me, I realised that - too late… John and I discussed the funeral with our parish priest. He said the bonus of knowing in advance was that it gave him a chance to write goodbye letters to everyone. I distributed these before the funeral. There was a letter for me as well as a recorded video message which I watch every evening. The video is the most precious, priceless gift John could have ever given me. There was also a letter and CD for the Parish priest about the funeral service, hymns and a special song. John also left a list of names, addresses and phone numbers to contact regarding his pension, widows allowance etc. He’d paid off outstanding payments on hire/purchase items so I wouldn’t have to worry later. Basically what John did was put his pain and distress aside and concentrated on getting things in order to make my life easy. He loved life and fought hard to stay alive but that didn’t stop him from getting his affairs in order. He was always well organised.

I hope anyone reading this finds it helpful.
Do excuse any errors, I probably won’t post it if I read through it.

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Hi Libby,

What a thoughtful and considerate husband John was. It sounds as though he did everything he could think of to make things that little bit easier for you.

The recorded video message was a wonderful idea and is clearly so special and comforting to you.

Thanks so much for taking the time to write about your experiences and share them with the community - I’m sure some people will find it really helpful.

For anyone else who may be reading Libby’s advice, we also have some information on our website about planning for the future - which includes planning for future care, writing a will, and information for someone planning ahead for their own funeral.

We also have an information page on organising the funeral of a loved one.

I have to admit that this was something we should have done earlier. Perhaps it was a case of not wanting to cause upset to my Den that we never really discussed it
On the one part although we had not formally discussed it, I had managed to get an idea of what she would like, she also said what I could do, if I wanted after.

I am sitting here next to her bed as I do this. It is hard. But I know what songs/hymns she would like and her favourite bible pieces. So I will do something really special for My Den, around that. And I will tell her, what I have planned for her. To be honest I have not planned, so much as put it all together that she said she wanted.

My mum in comparison, never discussed what she wanted with us. She just planned it all, then she told us.

Still life is filled full of missed opportunities


We have a very good minister, whom she wants to take the service, he has already agreed to do so.

I was diagnosed with IPF in February of this year, at first different drugs were tried to slow down the progress, but they did’nt do it for me and now we are treating the symptoms and not the disease.

It has all been discussed very openly with the whole family and they are aware of what will happen in the next 12 months or so… have decided on a very quiet do at the crem because I am not a really religious person, but realise that folk need to have some sort of service to bring matters to a close. Have also drawn up a list of folk to be notified of the event , you know some distant family and friends who we just exchange Christmas and birthday cards with. Favourite music to be played ‘Last of the Summer Wine’ and similar stuff.

I had toyed with the idea of body donation, but have looked into it and changed my mind as it I think would have been distressing for family and friends, with no service apart from maybe a memorial service.?


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