Seniors: Prepare for Your Death

Oct 18th, 2010 | By Sharon Shaw Elrod MSW EdD | Category: Senior Moments Blog

Reality: We Are All Going to Die

The title of the sermon was How to be a Good Dead Person.  And it was the second in a series. The church is in a community primarily composed of senior citizens.   The minister didn’t get thrown out on his ear, and people in the congregation really seemed to resonate with what he was saying.  It was based on the Ecclesiastes verses in Chapter 3, about there being a time for everything… including a time to be born and a time to die.

He told the story of the woman who, when he preached a similar sermon a few years ago in another church, stormed out, withdrew her membership from the congregation and said, “I don’t go to church to hear about dying!”

Hmmmmm… I’m always amazed when otherwise bright and together people completely and totally miss a simple point.

Next to family and a few close friends, church is the primary emotional support system in my life, and I suspect that of many seniors in the world today. So it’s perfectly clear and obvious, to me, that my faith connections are ones that I will call upon to deal with the thornier issues of life, like preparing for my death.

Death Checklist Helps Seniors Cover All the Bases

I like what I heard on Sunday.  He said we needed to be prepared for our death with appropriate documents, like living trusts (if appropriate), wills, advanced directives, conversations with our adult children about our choices should we ever get to the point that we cannot make them for ourselves.  We need to

have information written down that identifies what we want in a memorial service (things like music, who does the service, where it is held, what you want said about your life, etc…); we need to write down the important passages in our lives that we want included in our obituaries and public notices about our death. There’s a whole checklist of things we need to do to be prepared for our death, to be a good dead person.

I believe a good way to think about your own death is to think about family and friends who have died. What was helpful about what they said to you regarding their wishes?  What questions remained for you that were never answered?  Once you identify some of these things, you will be on your way to preparing to be the best dead  person you can be, and making your death easier for your loved ones to handle. After all, that’s the obvious reason for talking about ‘my’ death with my family.

Here are some Internet sites you may find helpful as you think about and prepare for your death:



Tags: , , ,

6 comments
Leave a comment »

  1. Seniors: Prepare for Your Death | Senior Citizen Journal…

    Here at World Spinner we are debating the same thing……

  2. [...] Seniors: Prepare for Your Death Tags: adult, congregation, heard-on-sunday, internet, life, membership, prepare for death, [...]

  3. [...] pastor recently preached a series of sermons on “How to be a Good Dead Person.”  An article, based on that series, has appeared here recently (10/18/10).  You might want to look it up.  So it is possible to wade into the subject, with help from [...]

  4. [...] We do not recommend that you use the kind that you can buy at the office supply store.  As seniors and/or retirees we need to make sure that these items are in order to avoid problems for our loved ones & [...]

  5. [...] to be done to avoid leaving behind a catastrophe that our loved ones will have to clean up.  The prepare for your death checklist we talked about a few months ago gets a lot of attention.  An item on the checklist that needs [...]

  6. [...] your state of mind, being, and  legal affairs.  Having done so means that, as much as possible, everything dealing with your death will have been addressed. Hopefully, well before now, most matters pertaining to the [...]

Leave Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.