Here are 7 things people forget to do before they die

Here are 7 things people forget to do before they die
Royalty-free stock photo ID: 528854752 Silhouette of a doctor walking in a hurry in the hospital corridor.

Unless death is imminent, too many of us find the thought of it so frightening and vague that we prefer not to think about it. Kathy Kortes-Miller, author of Talking About Death Won’t Kill You, is a palliative care provider and a cancer survivor. She knows that by talking about death now, we can not only have a better death, but a better life.


1. Use the D-words.

Death, dying, and dead. Clear language rather than euphemisms such as “passed away” or “transitioned” can help loved ones recognize end of life as a normal event and provide better support.

2. Ask your health care providers questions about death.

Even doctors can be uncomfortable having end-of-life conversations. But insist. “We need to empower ourselves as consumers of the health care system to engage in those conversations,” Kortes-Miller said.

3. Research for your death.

“Just like you’re preparing for a trip or going out and researching a car,” Kortes-Miller said. Ask yourself what your version of a “good death” looks like.

4. Take advantage of the little things.

Anyone diagnosed with a life-limiting or terminal illness knows that it makes everyday activities more important—a lesson everyone can use. “That goes into bringing the way we live into the way we die,” Kortes-Miller said. What simple pleasures can you incorporate into your end-of-life plan?

5. Let your loved ones know you’re going to lean on them for support when the time comes.

“Dying can be hard work for people,” Kortes-Miller said. According to the National Institute on Aging, dying often brings on depression or anxiety. Strong family and community ties can help ease stress and make for a more comfortable death.

6. Think about what kind of legacy you want to leave.

Kortes-Miller’s aunt wanted her funeral attendees to wear clown noses to remind friends and family of her sense of humor. How do you want your loved ones to remember you? What do you want your descendants to know, and how might that change the way you live your life?

7. Consider a different bucket list.

If you died suddenly, what have you left unsaid to people in your life? What do you want to have achieved? “Those are the things that can help as a guide to living,” Kortes-Miller said.

Understand the importance of honest news ?

So do we.

The past year has been the most arduous of our lives. The Covid-19 pandemic continues to be catastrophic not only to our health - mental and physical - but also to the stability of millions of people. For all of us independent news organizations, it’s no exception.

We’ve covered everything thrown at us this past year and will continue to do so with your support. We’ve always understood the importance of calling out corruption, regardless of political affiliation.

We need your support in this difficult time. Every reader contribution, no matter the amount, makes a difference in allowing our newsroom to bring you the stories that matter, at a time when being informed is more important than ever. Invest with us.

Make a one-time contribution to Alternet All Access, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.

Click to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card
Donate by Paypal

Don't Sit on the Sidelines of History. Join Alternet All Access and Go Ad-Free. Support Honest Journalism.