A new resource is launching to change the way we approach death for the better, with practical information and features that help facilitate conversations as well as leave wishes, heartfelt messages and document legacies in a safe, secure space. Here Paul Jameson tells us how being diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease spurred him to create the website.
In 2017, I was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease, a terminal illness. If you’re someone that’s faced such news, or have a loved one that has, I’m sure you’ll be familiar with the tidal wave of emotions that hits you.
Naturally, my primary focus was my family. It shocked me how ill prepared I was to die, in both a practical and emotional sense. Had I said everything I wanted to those that I loved? Did those closest to me know what I wanted to happen after I died, such as funeral arrangements? How would people remember me? I didn’t feel like my few social media profiles or a gravestone epitaph would leave a sufficient, tangible legacy.
I think the biggest obstacle I faced from here was that I found it difficult to bring up these difficult topics with my family, and to find the right moment to approach these questions with those around me. I felt compelled to do more digging into the area of death – there had to be more people struggling in my situation.
Sure enough, I was surprised to see how widespread the problem was. It was clear to me that death is on so many people’s minds, yet they don’t talk about it and this leaves people unprepared in a number of ways.
It dawned on me that death is one of the few truly inevitable things in life, yet talking about it is the great taboo of our time. Because of this our memories, knowledge, intentions and legacy often get lost forever, and it makes the death process harder for everyone involved.
It was at this moment that I felt compelled to do something. Aura is a platform that helps you celebrate life and manage death. It caters to the individual and those closest to them with features that give emotional and practical support. Facilitating conversations, detailing wishes, providing practical information, leaving heartfelt messages and documenting a legacy in a safe, secure space are just some of the features Aura will provide.
Aura is a reflection of my own personal wishes but it is also a bigger legacy for people in general. I want to encourage the debate about death within families and not shy away from it. Aura is designed to be wholly collaborative and with that in mind, there are now many people helping to breathe life into my vision. In life I’m a very positive person – I want to be the same in death.
The main Aura platform will go live in Summer 2020, but there is a small promotional site live for people to sign up for early access. For more information visit Aura