Are you ready for your digital afterlife?

Are you prepared for your digital afterlife? It’s a more important question than you might think. End of life planning used to be all about “things”. The most important decisions that we needed to make were how to organise our funeral, what to do with our assets and how to prevent legal issues after our passing. Today, much of our life is spent online and, as a result, some of our most important assets are digital. Our photos are digital, our social connections are maintained through Facebook and our email accounts maintain a written record of our lives “in the cloud”. So, this raises an important question: what happens to our online “self” after we die?

If this still seems like a trivial question, think about the following scenarios. What would you like to have happen to your Facebook account after you die? Would it give your family comfort to be able to see a record of your life online? Or, would this cause them emotional pain? Would you like your family to be able to access your email accounts? All of us have secrets. Would you be prepared for your family to know all of yours? If so, who should have access? What about your digital pictures? Would you like your family to have access to them?

It might surprise you to know that not all companies handle this process the same way. Facebook recently added an option for family members to request the creation of a “memorial page” from your personal Facebook page. Some email providers routinely grant access to the accounts of deceased family members, while others make the process extremely difficult. It’s best to be prepared. Even taking the simple step of preparing a list of accounts and passwords that you want your family to have can reduce a great deal of stress

For more information please follow the link:

http://sixtyandme.com/are-you-ready-for-your-digital-afterlife

Respect are very proud to have been awarded the Certificate of Recommendation from the leading Natural Death Centre Charity in the UK now in its 25th year

We feel highly honoured to have been recommended and this is testament to the customers whose family members we have served and who always come back to our company in their time of need.

 

Jeremy Clarkson …………….

My mum’s final act of love was to throw all her stuff into a skip

Right in the middle of all that brouhaha abut sloping bridges and Eeny Meeny Miny Moe my mum died.

So there I was, in Russia in the middle of a Top Gear tour, trying to organise her funeral and tell the children and sort out the legal stuff, with the BBC moaning at me in one ear and a reporter twittering on in the other, and I knew that if I wept, which is what I wanted to do, because I was very close to my mother, the Daily Mirror would run pictures and claim they were tears of shame.  It was a gruesome time.

And I knew that when I came home the BBC would still be bleating and the reporters would still be calling and I’d have to go to her house and start sorting through her things.  And where do you start with a job like that?  Where did she keep her pension details, the deeds to her house, the insurance certificates?  How do you cancel a Sky subscription?  Did she have any shares? Premium bonds? And how do you find out if you haven’t got a sister who’s a lawyer?

Luckily, I do have a sister who’s a lawyer, but even though she could handle the paperwork, I’d still have to go through my mum’s things, and that would be a nightmare because I’m such a sentimental old sausage I even find it difficult to throw away an empty packet of fags.  I think of the fun I’ve had smoking them and the people I’ve shared them with and I want to hold on to the wrapping as a keepsake, a reminder of happy times.

So what in God’s name would it be like in my mum’s house, surrounded by everything that made it hers, except her? And there’d be all those childhood memories.  At some point it would be inevitable I’d find the egg cup I’d used every morning as a child and the cereal bowl with rabbits on it.  That would tear my heart out.

At one stage I received a call from a middle-ranking BBC wallah saying they’d had a letter from some MPs, asking if I was going to be sacked and I really wasn’t paying much attention because I was wondering what on earth I’d do with the mildly fire-damaged Dralon chair that my dad had bought for £4 in 1972.

Even by the standards of the time it was a truly hideous piece of furniture and the years had not been kind to it.  Any normal person would give it to charity or use it as firewood.  But it was the chair my dad used to sit in.  It had a cigarette burn in the arm from the time when he’d nodded off while smoking   I couldn’t possibly give it away or burn it.  And I sure as hell didn’t want it in my house.  So what would I do?

There is no single thing in the house of anyone’s mother that isn’t infused with a gut-wrenching air of sentimentality.  It’s not just her jewellery or her clothes.  It’s the little things as well.  Her kitchen scissors, her bathroom scales, her flannel.  Every single thing in each and every drawer is as impossible to discard as a first teddy bear.

I would need a very big lorry to handle all the stuff I’d need to bring home.  I’d also need at least two months to go through it all.  And I’d need about 4,000 boxes of Kleenex.

However, here’s the thing.  My mum did not die unexpectedly.  She’d known for some time that the cancer was winning and had therefore had time to put her affairs in order.  A job she had undertaken with some gusto.

I’d always assume that “putting your affairs in order” meant writing a will and remembering to reclaim your lawnmower from the chap at No. 42.  But in the weeks since my mum’s death I’ve learnt that actually there’s a lot more to it than that.

First of all, she had left many helpful instructions about what sort of funeral she wanted.  No friends. No flowers and no mention of God or the baby Jesus.  My sister and I didn’t even have to guess what music she would have liked because she’d told us: Thank you for the Music by Abba.

All the financial stuff was in a neat box with everything clearly labelled. And she hadn’t stopped there.  Before she became too weak, she’d had a massive clear-out.  Pretty much everything she owned had been thrown into a skip.  “It’ll save you the bother when I’m dead” she had said.

But by far and away the best thing she did in those last few months was to sort out a lifetime of photographs, putting the ones that mattered into albums and crucially, writing captions.  So now I know that the time faded sepia image of stern looking woman in a nasty hat is my great aunt and that the blurred picture of what might be a corgi was my granddad’s dog.

Ordinarily I’d have thrown away the endless pictures of what appear to be a building site, but thanks to my mum’s diligence I now know it was the house in which I was born and how it had looked when she and my dad bought it in 1957.

I don’t know how long she had worked on her downsizing and the clear-out and the organisation of her things but it’s something we should all try to do when we know the Grim Reaper is heading our way.  Because not only does it spare our loved ones from the hassle of going through every single thing we’ve ever owned but also it spares them from the grief of deciding that the horse brasses and the Lladro figurines really do have to go to the tip.

The only trouble is that there’s one thing my mum did not sort out.  Back in 1971 she made by sister and me two Paddington Bears.  They were the start of what became a very successful business and they were very precious but over the years one was lost.

I maintain the sole survivor is mine. My sister insists it’s hers and she’s the lawyer… so I have the cereal bowl with the rabbits on it, and the Dralon chair.

Re printed from the Sunday Times Published: 8 June 2014

Are you eligible to make a claim towards the cost of the Funeral?

If you are on a low income and you feel you may be eligible for help with paying for the Funeral you could get a Funeral Payment Benefit from the Government.  The payment is to help pay for the funeral and is recoverable from the deceased’s estate if they have left one.  This includes insurance plans or the sale of any assets.

To claim the Funeral Payment you must be the one responsible for the Funeral

You must apply to the Government within three months of the funeral.  How much you get depends on any monies available from Insurance plans and the deceased’s estate.

Rules on your relationship with the deceased

You must be one of the following:

  • The partner of the deceased when they died
  • A close relative or close friend of the deceased
  • The parent of a baby stillborn after 24 weeks of pregnancy
  • The parent of the deceased child, if they were under 16 (or under 20 and not in full-time education)

Benefits and tax credits

You, or your partner must get one of the following:

  • Income Support
  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Pension Credit, Housing Benefit or Universal credit
  • the disability or severe disability element of Working Tax Credit

For more information go to the following link:  https://www.gov.uk/funeral-payments/overview.html

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The nature of the funeral industry is that it is always about someone else’s funeral?  What would you opt for?

The options with Respect are plenty.

From transport options: Horse & Cart, Tractor, plain car, white van?

Music – Your favourite songs for your final farewell

Coffins: – Colourful coffins depicting your hobby or favourite car or a plain cardboard coffin with pictures of your loved ones on or drawings made by your grand children.

If you want it we will do our utmost to make it happen!!

Words of comfort – A Collection of Poetry and Prose suitable for Funerals and similar events

Author – The Late Jenny Walton

FOR ALLTHE TIMES YOU GENTLY PICKED ME UP

When I fell down,
For all the times you tied my shoes
And tucked me into bed,
Or needed something
But put me first instead.

For everything we shared,
The dreams, the laughter,
And the tears,
I love you with a Special Love
That deepens every year.

Thank You Mum

GOD LOOKEDAROUND HIS GARDEN

And found an empty place;
He then looked down upon the earth
And saw your tired face.
He put his arms around you
And lifted you to rest.

God’s garden must be beautiful:
He always takes the best.
He knew that you were suffering,
He knew you were in pain;

He knew that you would never
Get well on earth again.

He saw the road was getting rough
And the hills were hard to climb;
So he closed your weary eyelids
And whispered, ‘Peace be Thine’.
It broke our hearts to lose you,
But you didn’t go alone,
For part of us went with you
The day God called you home.

There are things that we don’t want to happen but have to accept, things we don’t want to know but have to learn, and people we can’t live without but have to let go.

‘Say not in grief ‘he is no more’, but live in thankfulness that he was’
Hebrew proverb

Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal. 

(On an Irish tombstone)

Perhaps they are not the stars, but rather openings in Heaven where the love of our lost ones pours through and shines down upon us to let us know they are happy.

(Eskimo proverb)

These are all available direct from Lindsey Lodge Hospice and all proceeds are to Lindsey Lodge Hospice.

When contacting ask for Words Of Comfort… Words of Farewell

Lindsey Lodge Hospice

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Burringham Road

Scunthorpe

DN17 2AA

Tel: 01724 270835

Fax :01724 271548

email:julie.cole4@nhs.net

 

 

Respect Green Burial Parks are constant proud supporters of Lindsey Lodge

The Dying Matters Coalition commented on a survey carried out by Sun Life Direct  Shows Only Half of Us Save for Our Funeral?

Half of UK adults have not made any financial provision for their deaths or even discussed their wishes with loved ones leaving behind sizeable funeral expenses for relatives to cope with. According to figures released by the Dying Matters Coalition and Sun Life Direct 60% of adults have not made a Will including 25% of the over 65s(i). 82% of people do not have a pre-paid funeral plan and 46% have not made any financial provision for their own death.

The Dying Matters Coalition is responding by publishing ‘Put your House in Order’.  A leaflet which aims to prompt people to address the problems associated with lack of planning for end of life.  Lack of forethought, fear and unwillingness to talk openly about dying and death are blamed for so many people failing to address these issues.

Eve Richardson, Chief Executive of the Dying Matters Coalition said, ‘We owe it to our loved ones not to leave a mess behind when we die. We owe it to ourselves to arrange our affairs to our own satisfaction and to plan a funeral of our choosing. Our publication ‘Put Your House in Order’ maps out the things we have to do to sort out our affairs – and once done – we can sit back and enjoy life knowing everything is sorted!  So to ‘Put Your House in Order,’ make a Will, make a Funeral Plan , decide on organ donation and make sure your loved ones know your wishes.’

The importance of making plans was highlighted in Gerry Robinson’s recent BBC2 programme ‘You can’t take it with you’ where the Dying Matters Coalition’s message was echoed by Brenda, who said after making her will, ‘I felt a great comfort, and I mean that. My house has been put in order’.

Sir Gerry Robinson said ‘You need to make sure you put your house in order before you die. We are often reluctant to face up to our death and address the complications it can involve, such as writing a will. But not writing a will can unwittingly cause a lot of unnecessary hurt to those you love and care about.’

The cost of funerals continues to rise. Statistics recently released by Sun Life Direct show that the total average cost of dying in the UK in 2010 was GBP 6,801, a fall of 4.2% from 2009 due to families cutting back on optional extras such as limousines and flowers, which often mean so much to the bereaved. However, the basic cost of a funeral (GBP 2857) has risen by 4.5%.

Simon Cox, Head of Life Planning at Sun Life Direct said, ‘With the cost of the essential elements of a funeral increasing it is wise to share your funeral preferences and wishes with those close to you and make arrangements to pay for what you want. With plans in place, you can rest easy that when the time comes you will have the funeral you want, with the extras you want, without leaving a financial burden’.

The message to everyone who has not made plans is have the conversation with your loved ones, make plans and make your wishes known. Talking about dying and death does not make it come sooner – instead it puts the subject to bed until it is needed – and we can all rest better for knowing it is done.

(i) NatCen Omnibus Quarter 3 2009 (62% of adults have no will and 25% of
over 65s have no will)

(ii) BBC2 Sir Gerry Robinson 'Can't Take It with You' Episode 2
'Favouritism' broadcast on Friday 21.01.11.  Series Producer, Alfie Lawrie,
Executive Producer, Michele Kirland

You can down load your own Bucket List below and get your friends and family to fill it in then e-mail it back and we will add it to our list,

Blank form

My bucket list; ready to be completed

Anyone who replies by e-mail will receive a free “Breaking the ICE” Open the mind packs to get the family / your work mates / colleagues thinking about what they really want!

Thank you for participating and we look forward to receiving your lists from family and friends please e-mail info@respectgb.co.uk

 

Client Testimonials.

May I take this opportunity to thank you and Alison for everything you have done to help us through this difficult time. We have found the perfect place for *******- everything he loved in close proximity. I have been up to Laughton several times since Friday and each time I find it comforting. I can sit on his bench and chat to him in peace and quiet.

BP, Burton on Stather

Thank you for the photo’s, they are just what I needed, thank you once again for being so kind and thoughtful, it help a lot on such a sad occasion

K&H, W of Doncaster

Thank you for the photos of Geoff’s bird box & bench, it looks really peaceful.Thanks and regards F C

F C, Knottingley

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