From Hell and back: February edition!

February’s nugget of wisdom is this: plan your own funeral! It sounds dreadful but is a true gift to your loved ones.


Welcome to another monthly recap!

As you can guess from the title, this month was hard. I had promised myself to make my monthly recap slightly more interesting than last year, but this year has started in way that makes it hard.

The funeral arrangements took up almost all my brain power and grieving took all my energy. The month went like a blink and yet part of felt like time was just standing still.

That’s it, that’s my monthly recap!

If I can give you one recommendation from this, it is below!

Nugget of wisdom: plan your own funeral!

Seriously, planning your own funeral is one the best thing you can do for your loved ones. And please write your instructions down! Write down the musics you want to be played, the poems you want them to read, the sort of flowers you want, where you want to be buried or what to do with your ashes, etc. It is so incredibly helpful to the ones who have to deal with it.

Please don’t forget to include the list of people to be informed. You can’t expect a loved one to make sense of who is your plumber and who is a friend, if you just have them as Mike or Bob, in your phone.

Don’t forget to update your plans every 5 or 10 years so it still reflects your personality and taste.

As you may have seen, I had written a memo called ‘if I die tomorrow‘ where I gathered all sorts of useful instructions and information in case, well… I die tomorrow. This includes all sorts of details from bank accounts to insurances, from online access to subscriptions, from useful contacts to people who will need to be informed.

I will for sure update it with instructions for my funeral, just to take the burden off the shoulders of who ever will have to deal with it.

One final nugget of wisdom on this topic: Have a nice picture of you taken every 5 years or so. Not talking about selfies here, I’m talking about high quality pictures, which could be used on a screen or printed in a decent size. Something that isn’t a passport picture but that is still fairly serious. Your loved ones will thank you when the day comes. It could be useful if you disappear too!

How to move on and keep your life on track

Grief is a b@!ch! It derails everything and you don’t even realise it. Sleep, appetite, libido, energy level, your brain… Grief put you in zombie mode and it’s incredibly hard to get out of it. It depends who you’ve lost obviously, how close you were and who you are. Generally the closer the person was to you, the harder it is. So, how do you move on?

I don’t have a magic recipe but I believe that you first have to realise that you are grieving. It is so insidious sometimes that it might not even be obvious. Then you have to understand that the person you are grieving would not want you to derail your life. They should want you to be happy, to continue to enjoy life. Once this sinks in, you are better equipped to feel the grief, recognise it, accept it. When a wave hits, you let it wash over you. At first, the waves will feel like tsunamis, but with time, you will drown less and less. With time, the storm will pass and the waves will become more and more quiet.

Every time a wave hits, remind yourself you are allowed to be happy and maybe do something for yourself. Recognising the process helps to speed it up I think. You have to want it to be more quiet, for it to be.

Do not ever feel ashamed for wanting to live your life and stop grieving. It doesn’t mean you stop thinking about the person you’ve lost. It just means you are making the most of your time, here on Earth.


Gratefulness and achievements

Organising a funeral?! I guess this is something one has to learn in life. You are often surrounded by lots of people in the process but one has to pilot the whole thing. One has to think of the most appropriate ways, think of all that could go wrong, anticipate and lead… Be firm and yet compassionate. It really is difficult, not just because of the grief.

On a complete different note, I’m grateful to have my kitchen partition! It took one year for us to handle and it’s such a relief that it is done and all went smoothly. What a day it was! I had asked other techniciens to come sort out things and the apartment was filled with guys!

I’m also extremely grateful that I did manage to do the advance loan repayment, I had been planning. Some would consider this as a bad financial move. I’m just grateful, relieved, happy about it and looking forward to the next one!

With regards to the experiment I started in January, I mostly managed when I was home. It didn’t feel like progress though. It didn’t feel like a chore either. February was just probably not a month to experiment. Will see what happens in March.


What I read

As mentioned last month, I plan on reading one non fictional book per month. Something I had not managed in recent years. It isn’t a huge goal, it seems manageable. Yet, this month it was a little hard. Partly because of the circumstances, partly because of the content. I had bought I will teach you how to be rich by Ramit Sethi, a while back and never got to it. The book is mostly addressed to young US readers. Credit card score, 401 plans and other bits are just no applicable to others, especially if you are not in the US. Where I live, we just don’t have credit score for example. I’m still glad I read it. I still learned a thing or 2 and it did make me think of a couple things I should look into.

As I said before, the great think about finishing a book is to look forward to the next one.

And let me confirm that next month, it will be a more gentle read!

Looking forward

Obviously, I am relieved February is behind us. It’s awful to say but I had started the year asking myself how we would ever manage to continue like this. Both my partner and I were pushing through, but knew we were reaching our limits.

We know back and forth to London will still be required but the pace will be different, more manageable.

So indeed, I’m looking forward to a more peaceful month of March. And some planning for April and our trip!

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