Australian Doula College
3 Aug 2023
#GetDeadSetMyWay #DyingToKnowDay #DyingToKnowDay
Here pictured is a carved tree of the Wiradjuri people of what we now call New South Wales. Once stood hundreds of these trees at the burial sites of what is believed to be important men in that community. Each design specific to the person and to serve as a pathway for their spirit to return to the "sky world". The design looks to the burial site to let people know the spiritual significance of the site. These sacred trees were wrongly removed and over time many have been rightly returned to their communities as reparations seek to be made and space made for healing.
An opportunity to remember how important it is that we learn about the different ways we individually and as cultures, move through dying, death, grief and remembering. Especially of the First Nations people of the lands that we live, love and work on. Each person, with their stories and own unique life, beliefs and cultures will seek to be remembered in ways that are individual to them.
So often though, we skirt around the topic of death; and these conversations go unsaid. This can often lead to grieving loved ones trying to navigate big decisions about what they think you would want rather than knowing your wishes in advance.
Today is Dying to Know day. Whether you're in your 20s, 50s, or beyond, Dying to Know Day is an annual campaign all about YOU and your #EndOfLife choices.
Important arrangements for you to have sorted include the five documents below.
👉 Financial and Legal Matters
👉 Enduring Guardian
👉 Advanced Care Plan
Some, or all, may be essential for you; this can differ from state to state. Without these documents, the government may decide for you. Take action to make your own decisions. Decisions that suit your values and wishes. Conversations around your wishes should happen now, not later when it's imminently needed. These conversations may happen with friends and family, people who are important to you, but especially those who will support you in executing your wishes. You can choose one, two or three people (or more!) to finalise your documentation. They should all have an understanding of your documents and commitment to follow through with your wishes.
There are a number of different roles for people assisting you with your wishes including: 👉 Executor
👉 Enduring Guardian
👉 Substitute decision maker
How do you want to be farewelled and remembered, planning your send off is an important part of #gettingdeadset. Decisions around with planning your funeral or other death rituals are best made without the pain of grief immediately after a death or in the lead up to a death. This is a personal and unique process, you might consider your cultural heritage, family traditions, what you want or do not want. There are so many choices to be made and financial costs to be included, so inform yourself of your options, document your decisions and ensure that those who need to make the arrangements are aware of your wishes. This can remove the stress and worry of arranging things quickly and at short notice.
Some of the choices you might want to consider:
👉 Cremation or burial or something else
👉 Your environmental footprint in death
👉 A funeral home package or something more individualised
👉 An event at home, in a park or outdoors setting (with permission) or in a place of worship
👉 A party afterwards or no fuss.
So let' start talking about death, dying and how we want the experience to be for us and how we would like to be farewelled. It's never too early or too late to start! The Dying to Know website is filled with helpful guides, toolkits, and resources to support you on your journey to 'get dead set.' Conversations with your nearest and dearest about your unique choices and wishes are essential.
Embrace the power of preparation and ensure your wishes are honoured.