2. This is a tough one to talk about, but I think it needs saying. If you are given the opportunity to spend time with the body of your loved one after their death...do fight any first impulse to reject the idea, and really consider it. I confess that I was scared at the prospect. I'd never seen a dead person before. But I followed the advice of my sister, Esther. She's a nurse and has experienced literally hundreds of deaths (although, of course, this one was very different emotionally) She thought I would regret it if I didn't. And I'm so glad that I listened. If you have loved the person deeply in life, there is nothing to be frightened of....that time, which I spent with my Mum and youngest sister too...was incredibly special and valuable. It was peaceful and serene and it was a privilege. That's all I can say.
6. Not everyone by any means has the luxury of preparing...however loosely...for the ultimate death of someone close to them. Because it is a luxury. To have that time, to be able to say...or try to say...all the things you need or want to. I am lucky. The last thing I ever said to him was 'I love you, Dad', the day before he died. And he said the same to me. So I have that always, like a hug. But it's made me so aware that not everyone can do this...and it's taught me to tell those I care about how much they mean to me, whenever I especially feel it. Because that's so important....it truly, truly is. Just say it, do it, hug them, mean it. You will never regret it.