With the passing of musical legends Randall Wicomb, Lemmy Kilmister, Scott Weiland and David Bowie in the past few weeks, most of us are reflecting on the fleeting nature of life and how death impacts us personally. And as as yet another one of our musical icons, the Eagles guitarist Glenn Frey, takes a trip to the golden gates, it’s hard not to consider our own mortality.
Of course, we probably didn’t have the opportunity to see these stars perform on stage, let alone meet them in person, but that doesn’t diminish our feelings of loss. For death, however far or removed it may seem, does not ascribe to the rules of a fathomable space-time continuum. It traverses our understanding of time and distance – it supersedes logic and deflects normal emotional responses. Death binds those left behind to an unavoidable path of grief which we each walk at our own pace.
Are you prepared for death?
Of course meditating on our own mortality and that of our loved ones, is not necessarily a bad thing. It makes us consider our achievements and reprioritise our lives. It is, although undesirable, a catalyst for action – prompting us to evaluate how our own departures will affect those around us, how well we are primed for their passing, and prepare for this eventuality.
You have to ask yourself what legacy you will leave behind. You have to calculate whether you have provided sufficiently for your family. And you can no longer hold off on a conversation about death. Although it isn’t something we’d like to consider, unlike taxes which we deem to be the other great certainty in life, death cannot be bargained with. You cannot apply for clemency and be sent on your way with a slap on the wrist. It is the only certainty.
So are you ready? The answer seems to be a resounding, “No!”, but are you as ready as you could be? Have you made arrangements and are you sure your finances are in order? Will your inheritance and trust be administered promptly and efficiently? Is your will up to date, and if you have family outside South Africa, have you advised on financial emigration necessary to grant them access to your deceased estate? If you are a South African emigrant yourself, have you enquired as to your options and acquired the necessary insurance offshore to ensure that your family won’t get entangled in legal turmoil in addition to their emotional turmoil?
You may not want to address these issues now, but there really is no ‘best time’.
Find support and help others deal with grief
If you or someone close to you is dealing with the death of a loved one, consider joining online support groups to help you cope. In fact, you may want to introduce your family and friends to these platforms before the fact, as the aftermath of death tends to leave us in a foggy haze where even the smallest decision seems impossible.
Some great platforms for those dealing with grief and anxiety include:
- Remembered.co.za: a South African website where you can share your stories and create memorial pages for your loved ones.
- HelloGrief.org: a site with valuable advice and insights into death and mourning.
- MuchLoved.com: an online tribute charity which helps you remember and commemorate your loved ones.
Leave the admin to us
cashkows.com can assist with policy transfers, financial emigration, change of beneficiaries and administering deceased estates, whether you’re the one sitting on foreign shores, or you’re on South African soil and want to cater for your loved ones in other countries. Simply leave your details and we’ll call you!