“When I die…” What are your wishes?

17th March 2021#planning-ahead
“When I die…” What are your wishes?

James Leedam


Download the 'For when I die...' guide

Think about what’s important to you, and write down your wishes, and share it with the people you are closest to.

Often we are contacted by those planning ahead who would like to make their wishes for a natural burial known but are unsure how. They don’t want an expensive funeral plan, just something simple explaining what they want and where they want to be.

It got us thinking about how we can let those we love to know what is important to us in a simple way. From this, we created ‘for when I die’.

‘For When I die…’ is a list of prompts that we hope will enable people to write down what is important for others to know when they die. We wanted to produce something as an antidote to the commercial funeral plans that are pushed at us on TV and social media. The ‘For when I die…’ document is entirely free and completely yours to use to share your wishes with the people closest to you.

James’ wishes

Producing it got me thinking too; so I wrote down what I feel is important for me when I die. When I discussed it with my daughter, Rhi, she suggested that I should share it as a blog to introduce the concept. So here is mine…

When I die, my wishes are:

  • Don’t waste money or effort on what doesn’t matter
  • Ask for help if you need it, but I don’t really want strangers to take me away
  • Get it done quickly – within a week if possible, you’ll have had enough of me by then
  • Don’t mess around with dressing me in clothes, just keep me decent
  • I do not want to be embalmed – it’s a horrible, toxic and unnatural process
  • Put me in a simple wooden box or in one of Yuli’s shroud’s or a big canvas body bag on a board
  • Make sure the coffin isn’t lined with plastic, I don’t want to be shrink-wrapped. Use layers of newspaper and cotton calico instead. Perhaps a layer of compost beneath me would be nice.
  • I’d like a natural burial in a peaceful, rural spot
  • Put a piece of my pottery in with me and something you have made
  • Fill the bottom of the grave with a deep layer of leaf-mould, compost or grass cuttings
  • Take me in the van – use a trolley and put me onto the putlogs across the grave and say a few words
  • Keep it small, keep it simple, and keep it real – take the dogs
  • Read a favourite poem or two and sing Calon Lan
  • Lower me in, and throw in some foraged flowers or foliage then raise a glass to say goodbye (sherry seems a good choice)
  • In my memory, plant fruit bush cuttings into hedges, with snowdrops, which flower on my birthday – in various spots along our favourite walks – guerrilla-style
  • Above all, look after yourselves and be good to each other.

Download the 'For when I die...' guide

Think about what’s important to you, and write down your wishes, and share this document with the people you are closest to.