While this may not be a very cheerful subject it is an important one. Depending on your thoughts on the official figures we have lost nearly 42,000 people to Covid-19 during this pandemic and we are not through it yet. While a large proportion of deaths are in elderly people as well as people who were already ill in some way it doesn’t take anything away from the fact that we have to face death a little more than we perhaps did before this all started. So, what has it taught us about dying and dealing with death?
What Has Covid Taught Us About Living and Dying?
Most of us can’t think about death all the time, it would drive us somewhat round the bend, but we may well benefit from thinking about it a little more. People do die, and being more open to that when thinking about ourselves and others is an important way to be able to deal with it when it happens. Living in total denial can make losing someone incredibly hard and dealing with our own mortality stressful, upsetting and even something that causes mental health issues. There is a healthy line to draw where you appreciate death is real but do not dwell on it. Do not spend hours worrying about it, the aim is to try and be quite zen about it. Be aware of it, understand it but ignore it on a day to day basis.
Organisation and Planning
Seeing so many people losing their lives should also highlight the need for some simple preparation. This doesn’t mean we all go out and start setting plans in motion if such a thing were to happen when we are in our 20s. But it does mean we really should all have a will, especially if we have kids. It also means as we get older we should plan for costs like funerals. Leaving it unplanned for our loved ones to pay for can be quite a shock. Pre-paid funeral plans are a great way to pay for the funeral before it is needed, but as with most financial products it is important to get the right one. The Funeral Planning Authority are the UK regulators of funeral plans and good place to start. As well as the cost these plans often mean you can specify what you would like to happen too. As well as funerals and wills, making sure your loved ones have access to your bank details is important along with important passwords and details. It doesn’t take long but creating a simple folder with everything in it that can be kept in a location disclosed on your death can be very sensible.
You Only Live Once! This may seem obvious but in times of crisis like this it is so important to value the things you have and those around you. Enjoy life’s simple and more complex pleasures. Covid-19 has shown us a lot of what we hold dear is fragile and it has empowered a lot of people to seek mental health support and be proactive about happiness. It has taught us all to take that chance, learn and language,start running, start writing that book! Live is precious and while something like this is awful, don’t we owe it to those who we have lost to make sure we are living life to the full!
When faced with so much fear, death and worry it is important to take a positive stand in your own head. It is the perfect time to re-evaluate a lot of different things. Firstly it is a great time to look at where we live and work. A lot of people have spent a lot of time indoors recently and many have realised they may not want to live in that place anymore. The same can be said for careers. While working from home or being on furlough this period has lead to a lot of questions about jobs and what people want. These type of re-evaluation can be really healthy and it often takes a crisis, albeit a less global one, to really see clearly. The time we spend with our families and who we consider friends is also something to think about. Quality time is key with family and anyone else. Being apart from social groups has highlighted for some people that those groups may not be as healthy as they thought. Being locked in with family has shown many of us just how wonderful our families are…even if we all had a few arguments over the lockdown period.
While Covid has been terrible, we can take some things away from it that may just add a positive approach to how we live. It has also had some interesting environmental impacts that we can also take forward! Be grateful for your loved ones, make the most of the time you have, plan and prepare and become comfortable with the reality of life and death and hopefully be just a little bit happier if not a lot!