It’s the end of October. Our minds can easily turn to thoughts of death. The year is dying. The cold makes us feel our years. Halloween brings ghosts to mind.

I’ve talked before about writing to yourself so that you can remind your future self how you feel right now. In this post, I’m thinking again about a letter to the future but not for you to open. When this missive from you is opened and read, you won’t be around to hear it.

It’s not a will but let me take a moment here to say it is important to make your will. You want to ensure that your wishes about your property are carried out after your death. If you have children or other dependants don’t delay – make an appointment to sort it out today and book in dates with yourself to review the content.

Even with your will made I think there’s a need for a second letter. An in-event-of-my-death letter to make things easier for your nearest and dearest.

In my death letter

So what goes in a ‘death’ letter? I’m including the following (written in green ink naturally):

  • Who to inform of your death
  • Where you will is, who your your executor is and which solicitor holds a copy.
  • What I want my funeral to be like. I prefer to be cremation. I’m not keen on embalming. My death letter indicates that I’d like a non religious service. It also says which songs I’d like played, that catering at the wake should be vegan and that I’m not fussed about flowers but they do give people something to talk about.
  • What I’d like done with my ashes.
  • A reminder to find a home for my cat.
  • A list of who email providers I have accounts with, social media accounts and website I own. I’m not including passwords in this letter; while it should read after my death there’s always the possibility it won’t be.

You could also include messages for individuals.

Updating your death letter

Just like a will, I think it’s important to update this at least once a year. Friends change, the music I want to check out to will likely change (although John Denver’s Country Roads and Richie Sambora’s Ballard of Youth and My Chemical Romance’s Famous Last Words have been at the top of my list for a few years…) and who knows what else I might feel the need to share post-departure?

So don’t delay. You are not morbid. When you write a death letter it’s just for later. Nor is it morbid to think about making a will while you’re at it? It won’t make death drop by to say hello any quicker even at Halloween. And in the meanwhile get on with living life and enjoying every tiny pleasure.