“Love and death are the great gifts that are given to us; mostly they are passed on unopened.”
–Rainer Maria Rilke
1. Get your priorities straight about life: Put what you love first. Tell your loved ones today how much you love them. Say it often enough (for them). Say it every day (for you). Say it every day, because today could be your last.
2. Appreciations: Find someone or something you enjoy in life every day. Appreciate them. If you have “unfinished business” take responsibility for your past actions, ask for forgiveness, and right your wrongs. Make amends. Complete any communications or miscommunications. Alternatively, if you have been wronged, share your truth with them.
3. Be here now! Smell a rose, feel the warmth of the sun on your body, listen with your full attention to a friend. Share something you love in life with a stranger. This is the great experience of “Oneness,” or “heaven,” that we may find on the Other Side, but without the sensory experience that being in a body gives.
4. Express empathy. This is not just an inner feeling of compassion but an outer expression. Those people who have returned to life from a near-death experience (NDE) often report that they experienced a deeper understanding of what it is like to “walk in another’s shoes” while on the other side and that this is one of the greatest spiritual or religious experiences that a human can have…
5. Make a “List of Great Things To Do Before I Die.” Travel, re-connect with family, have a memorial or celebration of life before you die! Celebrate your life!
6. Make a “List of Regrets.” Then make a list of how you can turn these into opportunities.
7. Have a round-table discussion after dinner with loved ones right away. Watch the DVD “In the Parlor: The Final Goodbye” to learn more about beautiful choices in personal deathcare. Plan and reserve your own funeral, vigil, memorial, and Green Burial. (Forms to complete are available on Greenburialsanctuary.com). Buy TransitionCoins to save money through a long-term, safe investment toward reserving space in a green burial location and help the earth as well as yourself.
8. Complete your Advance Directive. Write your Last Will. Send copies to your trustee and give copies to family members. As a Rite of Passage for 18-year-old young adults, have them sign a Power of Attorney, especially the health and financial sections, authorizing someone to make life/death decisions on their behalf in the event of a sudden accident or death. See www.caringinfo.org. Check with mystatewill.com to see how much of your assets your state will take when you don’t write a will. There are lots of different programs to create a will online, with or without an attorney.
9. Write a Letter of Instruction with private information such as passwords, bank accounts, how to access them, etc. Copy to trustees. Write your specific wishes for an obituary, detailed requests for your memorial, Celebration of life, 3-day vigil, etc.
10. Spiritual preparation: What is your personal philosophy about death, aside from religious perspectives? Have you considered that death may be a birth into a new life of some sort, complete with great spiritual awareness? Do you believe that Love outlives death? Have you come to accept, understand, find hope in, or view death as an awesome journey to come? What are the gifts of love and death for you to open? Talk with someone you love or respect about your beliefs! Consider that there is only physical death and that a Greater Consciousness, your Spirit, lives on forever…