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  • Susan Elaine Jones

Death Wishes

Goodness December was filled with depressing amounts of lying resting on the sofa.

Starting to climb out of the fug now, and get active with lots of dead things. I've been adding more fun things to do for the Dying for Life Event "Things to do when you're dead" (also on Facebook Events).

And talking to fun people about dead and dying things (follow Dying for Life on Facebook to hear more soon).

But this week I have spent at a two day conference in Cambridge with CRASSH, discussing "What is a good death?" (Answer - opinions vary, but many want a short, pain free, expected death after a very long, healthy life). And it has finally made me get off my bony ass and do some things:

1. Sort out my will (the big money bits).

2. Sort out the fun bit of where I decide what to leave to friends and family.

3. Sort out and write down my wishes for Advanced Care Planning.

These may be on many of your to do lists, and I'm as guilty as anyone of having not done them sooner. But, CRASSH raised some horrifying prospects of my possible future if I didn't get around to them:

If I become incapacitated, my next of kin will be asked for my preferences on things like "how I like my makeup and hair doing".


Now I'm divorced, my next of kin is my parents unless I specify otherwise:

  • If I don't do something, I might end up lying in a hospital bed with a fringe, huge plastic framed glasses and a 1980s bubble perm.

  • Listening to Wham! or whatever my sister liked and I hated, and my mum can't remember which one of us liked what.

  • If I don't assign someone to close down my social media, my funeral celebrant will be invited to be my Facebook friend! (Seriously, a vicar there get about 20 invites a year like this!)

  • My future widower's future wife may receive a notification to celebrate my birthday 5 years after I've been in the ground! (yep, this is also a true story).

  • My mum might decide my final Facebook photo should be one of me naked having a tantrum in the bath. (And men, don't think that that photo of you aged five where they dressed you up in your sister's brownie's uniform isn't getting shared and tagged to all your social circle!)

So, if you don't care are aren't worried about trivial things like whether your life (but not married to) partner can visit you in hospital, whether your organs will be used (yes, you may have always carried a donor card, but on a whim, your next of kin can change those wishes), at least think about who gets to clear your internet browsing history or clear out your porn stash.

So, I made a series of modern donor cards. Here's one. Watch out for others appearing around Cambridge... or download and print your own from my gallery (more added every time I think of them).

Digital donor card

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