I wish someone had told me . . .

  • No matter how prepared you think you are for a death, you can never be fully prepared for the loss and the grief.

  • You can plan for death, but death does not always comply with our wishes or plans.

  • Stop avoiding and be present

  • Dying is not like you see on TV or in the movies. It is not peaceful or prepared. You may not have a spiritual or meaningful moment . . . It’s too real.

  • A hospital death is not always a bad death.

  • A home death/hospice death is not always a good death.

  • There will be pressure from others to move on, even minutes or hours after a death, and this can lead to regrets.

  • Death is not an emergency; there is always time to step back and take a moment to say goodbye.

  • Death and grief make people uncomfortable, so be prepared for awkward encounters.

  • You will plan the funeral while in a haze. If you aren’t happy with the funeral you had, have another memorial service later.

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