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The conversation every couple must have . . . What do the experts say?

INTIEM magazine collaborator Elmari Mulder-Craig agrees that it is definitely necessary to talk to your spouse about death. “It doesn’t just create emotional intimacy, but also peace of mind. Death is a reality – regardless of your age.” She says it is necessary to discuss things like your wills, what should happen to the children if both of you should die and the issue of burial or cremation. “Do you want a traditional funeral or a celebration of life event? How would you like it all to happen? Not everyone will necessarily want to discuss details like music, but for others it will be important. You should also have a ‘death file’ with information like your life insurance, the broker’s number, your bank account number, etc.”

Elmari adds that: “People should realize that with the death of a spouse, the deceased’s bank account is often frozen. You should make provision for this so the spouse that is left behind and already traumatized and mourning will not be stuck with a cash flow problem as there are many unforeseen expenses, like the funeral.”

The issue of remarrying is something that Elmari is not sure should be discussed. “It then happens that the deceased spouse is controlling you from the grave. The lives of the people left behind go on and you cannot predict what will happen in the future. Should the spouse left behind fall in love again and want to marry, the feelings of guilt might become too much.”