If you were told you only had a few weeks to live, would your family know what kind of funeral you want? Are you comfortable telling them what your final wishes are? In short, are you ready? Tying in with the theme of this year’s Dying Matters campaign we’re asking people what their end of life plans are. In this installment, Toby Scott, Hospice UK’s Head of Communications and Campaigns, tells us about having his ashes placed in a replica Iron Age burial mound.
What prompted you to make end of life plans?
I’d be fibbing if I didn’t say that working for Dying Matters is what finally got me to get on and do this. Having all the information to hand made it easy, and I’d been meaning to for ages.
What kind of funeral do you want?
A simple cremation, and then my ashes to be placed at the Sacred Stones site in Cambridgeshire. It’s a reproduction of an Iron Age burial mound, so quiet and peaceful.
Have you written a will?
Yes. It’s a slightly odd experience. There’s that strange feeling of holding the final version to sign it, and thinking “This will probably next see the light of day not only when I’m dead, but because I’m dead.” Then there’s a great sense of relief that this thing I’d been meaning to do for years was now done.
Have you discussed your end of life plans with your loved ones?
My wife and I have discussed them broadly. It went well, but we need to talk more about the details.
How would you like to be remembered?
I’ve always liked Paul Eddington’s wished-for obituary of “he did very little harm.” Otherwise as a church-going Lancastrian who knew some amazing people and enjoyed laughing.
How do you feel about dying?
I’m not looking forward to it. This is a wonderful world and I like being part of it. But we know from the start that it’s a finite experience.
What is the most important thing you want your family and friends to know before you die?
I’ve been lucky my whole life, and that starts with the people I’ve known. Thank you!
Dying Matters Awareness Week runs from 11 – 17 May 2020.