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All those papers we accumulate to register various moments in our lives and confirming the steps we have taken on a daily basis are very important. They may be a nuisance as they take up a bit of space but if you do not have them when called for it causes a lot of problems. What papers am I talking about?

Birth certificates, marriage certificates, death certificates, Identity documents, car purchase agreements, TV licences etc, etc. In the last week I know of 2 people who have had to dig some of these out to allow for action to be taken.

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mandela

 This past Sunday morning, on my way to church, I was listening to the radio. The discussion was a description of what was happening in Qunu, Eastern Cape, the childhood home and now final resting place of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela. I am including his Xhosa name because it was only when he went to school that he was given the name Nelson by the teacher. All Black African children were given English names when they went to school even though the teacher may not necessarily have been English. The children were told that it was by the English name that they would be known in school. This was due to the strong British influence in South Africa and English was considered superior in every way.  Local culture and traditions were not of any import. And so it was that this great leader came to be known as Nelson Mandela

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I often wonder if declared progress in the medical field is always good.  There is no doubt that people live longer these days and much of that is due to better medical care as well as better knowledge of healthy lifestyles.  But when people have aged beyond the stage of when they are alive but not living and/or they are being kept alive by artificial means, is that really progress?

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Why are we afraid of death and dying?  Are we afraid of death itself or of the dying process? For many, dying can take a very long time while for others it is instantaneous or comes quickly after a diagnosis or accident. The process of dying is not usually a pleasant one for the person who is dying or for family and friends. When one has known for months or even years that a loved one has a terminal illness, when the person dies it is still a shock and very painful. I can relate to this situation very well as my Dad had a stroke leaving him unable to speak and with minimal use of his right limbs for 7 years before he finally succumbed. My Mum suffered for 6 months before she died. In each case, even though others expected us to be prepared for these deaths, it was very painful when the final moment came.

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Have you any idea what happens to your social media sites when you die.  When I wrote my book, The Legal Aspects of Dying, I did not give a thought to social media sites and whether our own will continue after we have left planet earth. On page 46 of my book I do give some things to think about such as what could happen if you leave gold fillings in a deceased person’s mouth – the gold gets stolen! I also caution family and friends to ensure that the dates on all certificates etc are correct or it can turn out very expensive, especially if ICU and Death Certificate dates are not compatible. In the final chapter on making our own preparations so that it will not be a burden to our families I thought that I had included everything but then came along an article on what I forgot.

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

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