The hush-hush sub­ject

Costa Blanca News (North Edition) - - NEWS - Bond's World by Anita Bond words007@gmail.com

I am go­ing to now touch upon a sub­ject that few peo­ple like to talk about, or are even will­ing to ad­mit that it can hap­pen to them. Be warned, for I am go­ing to talk about death and dy­ing.

Did any­one else no­tice that around six weeks be­fore the end of the year the TV in­creased the ad­ver­tise­ments (at least on the chan­nels I watch) that keep ask­ing ‘Do you know how much a fu­neral costs these days?’

What’s more, the speaker would then tell us that we can ex­pect to pay be­tween £5,000 and £7,000 (in Bri­tain) and if we left these costs to the fam­ily then they would suf­fer ter­ri­bly.

All one had to do, it seemed, was to take out this or that fu­neral plan or this or that life (?) - don’t they mean death? – in­sur­ance. And when we did this, all would be well and our fam­ily would be safe and happy. Yeah, right! First of all, what about peo­ple like me who do not have a fam­ily?

My friends will tell you that I have the aw­ful habit of ask­ing ques­tions usu­ally about sub­jects that are ‘hush-hush’. My articles ex­ist mainly be­cause of the in­put of many peo­ple. (And to those that I have shocked with my di­rect­ness, I apol­o­gise pro­fusely.)

One has to ad­mit that these coastal ar­eas of Spain are mainly made up of re­tired peo­ple - that’s po­lite for el­derly.

I have re­alised that it is good to be el­derly; for af­ter el­derly comes death. I want to stay el­derly for a very long time!

But we all have to die even­tu­ally. And, per­son­ally, I would like a good death.

The ad­verts got to me and so I have made a will and is­sued in­struc­tions in the event of my, err, demise.

Most peo­ple around my age and older who I quizzed, all said they did not fear death; what they feared was an end in­volv­ing some type of phys­i­cal de­bil­i­tat­ing ill­ness that pro­longed the process of ac­tu­ally dy­ing and oh so many feared de­men­tia, like Alzheimer’s disease.

A sur­pris­ing num­ber of el­derly peo­ple that I talked to had made no plans for their death and I should stop talk­ing about it for it might be bad luck

Well, the head in the sand method is maybe not the best way to con­sider your own death; some­one does have to sort of ‘clean up’ af­ter you. And mostly that would be, af­ter many years of le­gal­i­ties the gov­ern­ment which would even­tu­ally take over your es­tate.

Some might think that they have no es­tate; that an es­tate is a big house on a large piece of land. But if you own a house – big or small – or an apart­ment or have money in a Span­ish bank, you have an es­tate.

And if there is some­one who you would like to give your ‘things’ to, you have to make ar­range­ments for that now, while you are alive. It is not good enough to just tell a friend or neigh­bour.

How­ever, this ar­ti­cle is about dy­ing, not what you do with your ‘es­tate’ af­ter­wards.

I have a sur­pris­ing num­ber of friends who want to leave their bod­ies to science; there­fore sav­ing on costs, and that’s great if you have made ar­range­ments for this (Gen­er­al­i­tat Valencia, I think).

Even bet­ter if science ac­tu­ally wants your dead body.

How­ever, the last I checked, the bod­ies are pil­ing up in the cor­ri­dor in Valencia and science does not need any new old bod­ies, thank you.

Even I have a plan for my own death but life does not al­ways turn out the way we think it will. Think here about fa­tal ill­nesses and ve­hi­cle ac­ci­dents or even falls in the home.

A few years ago, I made a prom­ise to a friend that if she wanted to die with dig­nity and it was be­ing de­nied her, I would help her and take her to Switzer­land to a clinic where they prac­tice aided sui­cide.

I will al­ways hon­our this prom­ise but quite hon­estly, I can­not un­der­stand why a per­son does this when they are still able to reach out for a bot­tle of pills. It is well-known that a sur­pris­ing num­ber of over-the-counter med­i­ca­tions are fa­tal when taken in over­doses.

The main thing is we should plan for all even­tu­al­i­ties. And, yes, we should do this to aid those we leave be­hind, not be­cause some TV ad­vert tells us to, but be­cause it is nec­es­sary. It makes our death tidy.

When the voice of Fred­die Mer­cury cries out ‘Do you want to live for­ever?’, I say ‘Yes! I do!’

But none of us can do that...

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