Report on Engaging with Judaism session of Friday 13 May 2016
You may remember our last newsletter article in May of this year, when we highlighted the forthcoming Dying Matters Awareness Week, whose theme this year was
“The Big Conversation” – Talking about dying won’t make it happen.
On 13 May were joined by Richard and Angela Conradi, both active members of the Northwood and Pinner Liberal Synagogue (NPLS). Some of us know Richard already as the brother of the late Prue Conradi; Prue was a founder member of the PJCEA and who sadly died three years ago. Richard is the Group Leader of NPLS’ Bereavement Support Group, (which received the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service a few years ago); he has taken many other roles within that community including Chair and President.
He told us how fitting he felt it was, in the light of being brother to Prue that he should come to address us on this topic. He spoke movingly about his own experiences in recent years of being Executor for more than one recently deceased family member, including Prue. He said he had learned a lot in Prue’s case because he had been able to talk to her beforehand about her arrangements and wishes. Not only that but also, after her death, he found her affairs in immaculate order, neatly listed and explained in a folder to be found on her computer’s desktop. He told us that Prue’s death, though sadly tragic at her young age, was peaceful partly due to her knowing that her affairs were in order and her wishes would be carried out by him. For him there was solace in the ease with which he could deal with administering her funeral and her estate.
This was in contrast to others he has come across who had omitted to make such arrangements or have such conversations.
One outcome has been that Richard has compiled a useful Advanced Personal Information pack, which people can use for the purpose of setting down such information as their Advocates, Executors and next-of-kin will need. NPLS’ impressive website is well worth a look and is at:- http://www.npls.org.uk/
The Advanced Personal Information pack can be download from here:-
Download it first to your computer, then save it; and then you can either complete the pack on your computer or you can print it out and complete by hand. We plan to include this link on our own website shortly.
So this is a reminder about the Big Conversation; think about it and talk about it, because ‘talking about dying won’t make it happen’. We’re not going to hold back in actively encouraging you not only to look at the document but to complete it. Also of course to make your Will and any other documents that are relevant to you – Appointment of Guardians for those with young children, Powers of Attorney, too. It means a bit of effort and thought and hopefully will enable you to arrange your affairs to talk about your wishes and then to feel that you can continue with your life knowing that whatever happens things are taken care of.
- Funeral Preferences Form
One element of the Advanced Personal Information form is consideration of one’s funeral wishes. The Burial Group and the Council have thought long and hard about the Funeral Preferences Form, which we have in place and which we have encouraged members to complete, but which very few have actually completed and lodged with the Group. We’ll shortly be in touch with you to inform you of the outcome of our deliberations.