My will be done ~ my living will that is!
What is a living will and how can it be used?
“It allows you to refuse treatment, even if this might lead to your death. An advance decision is legally binding which means that those caring for you must follow your instructions. However it will only be used if you lose the capacity to make or communicate decisions about your treatment.” Age UK
Today I finished the final draft of my ~ now this is a mouthful.. “Living Will And Advance Decision To Refuse Medical Treatment” document.
I had no idea how to go about writing such a specific and complicated document, having to go through every possible eventuallity and how I would like to be treated in that situation. However, the internet is a glorious beast and I spent some heavy googling sessions where I found several sites offering the opportunity to fill in a template to create the living will yourself. I used these as a basis for my own living will, using the parts of the templates that I related to and forming the cut and paste parts into one complete document.
It is extremely important for me to leave this realm in a purple mist of harmony and peace. I want my family to be spared the aweful responsibility of having to make a decision on my behalf, wondering if it is the right one or not. Or, worse still, disagreeing among themselves on what choice to make. By creating this document I am taking away all of that worry and responsibility from them as I have documented my very specific wishes.
All I need now is to make it a legal document which will be happening in the very immediate future. I have an appointment next week with my solicitor to give my final draft to them so they can write it up legally and get the two independent witnesses to sign it as well as myself. Once that is done I will have a copy, the solicitor will keep a copy with my will and another copy to be kept with my general practitioner in my notes.
Not content with writing a Living Will I have also be updated my will and documenting how I want things to go after I have passed on. The poor solicitor is going to be bombarded with my paperwork next week ~ but at least I will know that everything is in place which gives me peace of mind.
Its very important to me how my body is disposed of once I have left it behind. Included in this final will and testement will be details of how I would like my body to be treated after death. I categorically don’t want to be embalmed and that I want a biodegradable plain cardboard coffin for my funeral ~ they’ll just have to be sure to keep me in the fridge until then! If I have to have an autopsy or if my organs are useable for transplant donation then I don’t want prettying up after because I don’t want to be viewed after death, so what’s the point?
It is important to me that I am remembered as I was in life, not death.
I want my death to be a celebration, a happy event ~ one of a life full of love and well lived. I want it full of colour, creativity and music. SO, I am going a little against tradition by wanting my coffin in the room prior to the mourners which I will from now on call guests ~ arrive.
When they do arrive I want music to be playing ~ a “mix tape” of all my random favourite tunes from over the years. I would like a slide show of my life, my friends, my family ~ images full of laughter and memories to run on a loop.
The guests will be encouraged to then pick from a choice of coloured marker pens to write a farewell message or drawing on my coffin in a totally informal relaxed manner. Once they have drawn, if they want ~ they don’t have to, on my coffin then they can find a seat whilst the others finish their creations.
That way when all my guests are seated they will see my coffin in front of them covered in colourful graffitti, messages from all the people I care about which will go with me into the oven.
The ceremony itself will be none religious and informal, just anecdotes and sharing of memories.
Then prior to my final exit I want a specific small poem to be read out ~ I can’t remember where I found it but it’s been scribbled down on a piece of paper in my desk for years..
Hold onto what is good,
Even if it’s a handful of earth.
Hold onto what you believe,
Even if it’s a tree that stands by itself.
Hold onto what you must do,
Even if it’s a long way from here.
Hold onto your life,
Even if it’s easier to let go.
Hold onto my hand,
Even if I have gone away from you.
I have another very specific request, which is that I don’t want any curtains closing around me instead I want my guests to give me a final slap on the back, or cardboard coffin, farewell as they exit the room to my favourite Emo tune by My Chemical Romance ~ Welcome To The Black Parade.
After everyone has left then I am happy to be sent to the big oven and ashed.
I really honestly don’t mind what happens to my ashes but have requested that a small portion (or all if the family are in agreement) are placed under a sapling oak tree in a woodland where it is permitted. I vehemently don’t want to have any plaques or any kind of marker if my ashes are placed somewhere because I’m not there, I’m elsewhere ~ and who knows where that will be?
Having made these important plans has given me huge peace of mind. I will be fully content once I know that they are all signed, witnessed and legal.
Life, as I approach my 50th birthday, is looking up. I am learning about myself through the help of Kathy, my wonderful mind coach who is helping me to see myself clearly and to find what I need and desire for a healthy, happy life. Not everything can be avoided, life loves to throw curve balls at us, but it’s how we respond to them that reshapes our lives.
I am slowly releasing weight, worries, problems and finding more about who I am, what I am capable of and the enormous power of our minds and how we can train them to work with us to achieve our goals.
So, My Will Be Done ~ and long may my time on this planet be~ but if for whatever reason I make a swifter exit ~ my life is in order and my family won’t be exposed to any unpleasant or difficult decision making.
I will be a control freak right to the end.
“And when you’re gone, we want you all to know
We’ll carry on, we’ll carry on
And though you’re dead and gone, believe me
Your memory will carry on
We’ll carry on”