June 8th 2013
Will you die "happy"?
Who would you like to tell you if you are driving so erratically you need to stop? Or how does anyone figure out your funeral preferences if you haven’t even contemplated them and where – if anywhere! - is your legal, medical, personal and financial information kept?
These questions and more were the inspiration for a handbook written by long time visitor to Magnetic Island, Sally Clark who, with her husband Peter, has just arrived from Port Fairy for their annual winter sojourn on the Island.
"I was having lunch with a friend one day when we started talking about all the people we knew, young and old, who were struggling with the one inevitable thing about life that we never seem to prepare for: death," said Sally.
“People were trying to help elderly relatives and friends deal with medical, emotional or financial dilemmas that had become all the more fraught because it was not clear what they actually wanted”
"It became obvious to me that a handbook such as How to Die Happy could solve a lot of these problems but, in writing it, I realised that it could be used by people of all ages as a personal reference and invaluable in case of an early unexpected death or disability," she said.
The booklet includes sections that can be filled in to provide vital information for loved ones.
Topics covered include personal details, information for, "if I am unable to cope", details about family, friends and memberships, health care, legal matters, finances, property, funeral preferences and many more.
When it comes to the name of the booklet, Sally explains: "Most of us will be happier knowing that we have done everything possible now to avoid the sort of confusion, anxiety and even conflicts that can come later if we have not clearly set out our own preferences and basic information now."
“I began working on it last October after returning from Magnetic Island and recuperating from a hip operation. It would never have happened without the support and encouragement, ideas and suggestions of my family and friends” she said.
How to Die Happy has proved popular in Port Fairy and Warrnambool since it was published a month ago. The book is also now available from the Magnetic Island Pharmacy and the Post Office in Nelly Bay and from the Newsagency in Arcadia. It costs $12.95.
There is more information available on the website: www.howtodiehappy.com.au
Photo: Courtesy Warnambool Standard