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Since my husband and I are both retired we have decided to travel and see the world for as long as we are physically and financially able to do so. We lived carefully while our children were growing up so that we could give them a good education and assist them in developing into independent their adults. Now that they are both married and settled in their own homes we have decided to SKI – spend the kids inheritance and it is great fun.

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Most of us have seen the joke which has been on Face Book and in e-mails for a couple of years. It goes something like this:

When a baby is in its 1st year, parents will say he/she is nearly … weeks or months; … When children are in the 1st ten years of life they describe themselves as 7 and a half etc; When one is a teenager, the age is always nearly 16 or 18 or soon I shall be 21;                      In our twenties we look forward to being 30 and then we worry about nearing 40 and so it goes on until in our 90s we revert to being 92 and a half and then almost 100.

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Each year for 16 days from 25 November to 10 December many countries in the world bring the plight of battered women and children to the notice of the public – 16 Days of Activism Against Abuse of Women and Children.  In South Africa this is probably more esssential and poignant than anywhere else.

Statistics may seem boring to some and to others are just that – statistics. Why should we care?  I agree that many sets of statistics seem to be lists of figures about which we can do nothing or do not seem to have a direct relevance to us so we skim over them. Others, such as those describing violence we choose to ignore because it seems to awful to think about and here in SA we have become almost immune to it. As I need to keep this brief and to the point I shall only mention here that 1 in 6 women in South Africa is abused by her partner with at least 1 in 4 having to flee to a place of safety. South Africa, I am ashamed to admit, has the worst record of baby & child rape in the world. For more statistics to open your eyes and mind to this shocking situation go to the Soul City website from which I found these few figures.

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Taking the plunge is not an easy or simple thing to do but there are times when we have to. I have done so 3 times over the past three years – written a book, got a website and finally learnt how to blog – and all of that post retirement. My book is not a great novel but I believe it should be in every home as we are all going to need its advice at some time in our lives.

It is in this that I encourage everyone to really take the plunge and not be afraid to talk about death and dying. Unfortunately it will happen to every one of us. Methulesah lived to over 900 but he died. It is said that modern medicine will lengthen lives at that children born in this century could live to 150. Even if that happens they will still die. None of us is immortal! The truth is that all those issues against which we may no longer discriminate, colour, class. creed, sexual orientation, size, shape, ability etc etc have never been discriminated against in death. Not even age! In the past year, I know of at least 5 persons who have died and they range in age from 2 – 99 years.

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I decided to write this as a blog rather than just in the updates as there is quite a bit of information and it clarifies a number of questions that I have been asked at different times. At a presentation on my book last month one person present stated, not queried or implicated, that when a person’s organs are donated the family has to pay all the costs of removal and transport. I expressed surprise at this as I had not seen anything to this effect in my research when writing the book.

© 2017 Legal Aspects of Dying by Vicky Ireland. All Rights Reserved. Designed By KRE8

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