Category Archives: End of Life Planning

What kind of tree would you be?

Barbara Walters apparently once asked Katherine Hepburn what kind of tree she wanted to be. She was often mocked for this, but according to a wikipedia article, she was just following up on a comment by Hepburn that she would like to be a tree.

Well, now we can each decide what kind of tree we want to be after we die. Or at least what kind of tree we want to be buried under. A company in Italy is designing a pod that one can be buried in, which is then planted under a tree. Their idea is that instead of cemeteries being filled with stones, they can be filled with trees.

Capsula Mundi is planted like a seed in the soil, and on a tree is planted on top of it. The tree is chosen when the person is alive, relatives and friends look after it when death occurs. A cemetery will no longer be full of tombstones and will become a sacred forest.
Whether you want to be planted under a tree, buried in a traditional cemetery, cremated, or sent to a forensic anthropology body farm  – the important thing is to make sure you family knows what your wishes are.  We are all going to die someday, and someone is going to have to figure out what to do with our earthly remains. They will be dealing with enough stress at the time; anything you can do to make their decision easier is a friendly thing to do.

Ms. Hepburn wanted to be an oak. I’m not sure yet what kind of tree I’d want to be, which is ok because the tree/pod burial is still in the development stages.

How To Research Family History

Stuck inside during a blizzard and need a fun project? Searching your family tree can provide hours of interesting discoveries (assuming you have electrical power, of course.) There are a few sites you can use: Family Search is free to use. You can also volunteer to help index old records to make them accessible.Continue Reading

Action Item: Share Some Information This Week

What is a quick action you can take this week to make your and your family’s life easier in the event of an emergency? Share some information! This can be as little as telling someone who your attorney, accountant and financial advisor are so they can contact them if they need to help you. OrContinue Reading

Food, Feelings and End of Life Wishes

The New York Times has a recent article about Food and the Dying Patient. It talks about a patient with dementia who could no longer swallow. When they tried to feed her she aspirated the food into her lungs which was causing pneumonia. The doctors turned to the family to decide whether they wanted aContinue Reading

Do You Need To Update Your Living Will?

A living will, also called an advance health care directive, is a place to lay out your wishes for medical care and treatment at the end of your life. The hope is that your appointed agents will make sure these wishes are carried out. You can specify things such as whether or not you wantContinue Reading

“Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant?”

My favorite New Yorker cartoonist wrote/drew a memoir of caring her for aging parents called “Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant?” It outlines their decline as their minds and bodies start to go. She talks about how no one wanted to talk about “the future” but still they had to keep walking towards itContinue Reading

When Should I Write My Will? A Lesson from House, M.D.

I was watching a rerun of House, MD last night. One of the main character doctors became severely ill over the span of a couple of days. Finally, in severe pain, he was going to be put into a medically induced coma with the chance he might not survive. At this point he feebly tellsContinue Reading

Will Your Family Honor Your Health Care Wishes?

When I work with my clients to help prepare their plans for what will happen to their things after they pass away, I also talk to them about making sure that we put a plan in place for what will happen to them while they are alive but incapacitated and need someone to communicate withContinue Reading

Hospice Home Opening in Hingham

The old Quaker Friends Home on Turkey Hill in Hingham is being reopened as a hospice facility this fall by Norwell VNA & Hospice. The Hospice Residence at Turkey Hill will have 12 beds in private rooms. According to the website: The focus of care is on providing physical, emotional, social and spiritual support forContinue Reading

The Importance of End of Life Planning

I thought about titling this post “We Are All Going To Die”… We can’t change whether or not we are going to die. We all are. Putting off talking about it or planning for it won’t make it not happen, but it could make it more confusing and painful for your loved ones. Seth GodinContinue Reading