Don't Fear the Reaper: The Stewardship of Death

Nikki Diefenbach

When everyone’s whole life is a near-death experience, why is it so hard to talk about end-of-life planning? Friends and family members who have lost someone close to them should not have to struggle with how to decide what they would want after they are gone. End-of-life specialists can provide the peace of mind and freedom from fear with a plan to help walk people through the many options faced when death draws near.

According to their website, Good To Go!, an advance planning company, “was created to empower people to take control of a subject that many shy away from: advance planning for health care and death care.” The company was created by Amy Pickard, who lived through the sudden loss of her mother and faced the task alone of deciding how her mother would have wanted to her deal with the administrative details like paperwork, passwords, or what to do with personal items. Pickard realized she could help others decide what their priorities are around death in a fun, loving and comfortable atmosphere. Good to Go! parties invite a “soul cluster” of friends and family to walk with the client through the logistics and handle the necessary paperwork in a stress-free way. Pickard states the Good to Go! “departure file” includes a living will template, and instructions on how to compile all the other important details of a life as well as funeral wishes.

Another end-of-life planner, Michelle Acciavatti created Ending Well to teach people how to take control of their own end of life experience. She says, “My work is to help people face and embrace the fear that keeps them from living well,” she says. “I educate people about their options at the end of life, but, hopefully, I also help them learn about themselves.”

Part of living is learning to be free from the fear of death. We are responsible for managing many sometimes tedious aspects of our lives, like finances and preventive health care, why not sensibly plan for our death as well? Although it takes some work to make planning for one’s own death fun, it is a kindness to provide the planning in advance for your loved ones.

Read more HERE.

Reality Changing Observations:

Q1. What advance plans have you made for your death?

Q2. Have you or anyone you know had to handle arrangements for a loved one after they died? If so, is there anything that could have made it easier.

Q3. How would you make end-of-life planning enjoyable?

Comments (2)
No. 1-1

Paperwork, passwords, personal items. All trappings of our mortal coil. I pray my loved ones know that I won't give a fig about them when I am released.

1 Reply

Nikki Diefenbach
Nikki Diefenbach


I can see why Amy from Good to Go! struggled with the administrative details of "closing up shop"(closing bank and credit card accounts and managing the financials that come with end of life). Without passwords or account information, she was unable to access it easily, making an already stressful situation more onerous.