My dying wish? I hope I’m lucky enough to have a living funeral.

Yes, a living funeral.

| Sponsored | October 27, 2021, 05:56 PM

In less than two years, I will breach the big 40, which means a full-blown midlife/existential crisis is upon me.

To be honest, if I were to look on the bright side, it’s not really a bad thing because it might actually give me a better sense of direction -- to focus only on the things that matter, you know?

And ultimately, to do all the things I want before I call it a day.

1. Have a beer (or two) with my kids

Hang on, before you judge me, I’d like to clarify that the journey towards having a few drinks with my kids is more important than the act of having drinks.

Because to be able to have a few drinks together means a couple of things:

They have grown up, presumably ok.

Our relationship is good enough for them to want to hang out with an old man.

This also tells me that maybe I’ve done an okay job as a father.

2. Leave behind the good

Now in the event that I don't see out my existential crisis and die suddenly (I mean who knows?), it is imperative that I don't leave a mess for my family to clean up.

I’d prefer that I strive to be considerate, even in death.

I’m fully cognisant that talking about death is somewhat taboo in a conservative society like Singapore.

But death and taxes, guys. There’s simply no running away from both.

Leaving a will behind is a good start. If you’re still not covered by some form of basic insurance, it's never too late to start. And if you are struck by a sudden terminal illness, the Advance Care Planning does cover how one intends to go. The Lasting Power of Attorney will also help settle any disputes because you’d have entrusted someone to make the decision for you.

Of course, I'm coming from a typical, 4-person family perspective. I'm fully aware that some children may not have a next of kin to fall back on in the event of their parents' death. As such, identifying legal guardians becomes all the more important.

3. Do something different

As someone who has been working in the communications and media industry for a good 16 years and counting, I'd very much like to do something different once the kids are old enough to feed themselves (plus buy me a beer).

Work encompasses a large part of our lives and it seems a tad too boring to be a one-trick pony my whole life.

Xing Qi, the child protection officer? Xing Qi, the social work assistant? Xing Qi, the youth mentor? Xing Qi, the prison warden?

Sounds good to me.

4. Really give back to the community

Notice that my aforementioned future vocations are all in the social and rehabilitative service.

I’d like to think that people of a certain vintage would really take a more considerate stance when it comes to the community, especially with the next generation.

With more time on hand (and hopefully enough money to be comfortable), it’s a good chance to be devoted to causes and see them through. Often, it’s not the speed of how fast we can help the needy, but rather, the stamina to go the distance.

But if I cannot fulfil my dream of joining such vocations, I will spend my golden years volunteering.

5. My death, my terms

If I were to be so fortunate, I’d dictate how I’d like to go.

Because I’d very much like to have a living funeral, which means my loved ones and friends delivering their eulogies while I’m still breathing.

I mean what’s the point of saying how great I was only when I’m dead?

So yes, a living funeral -- complete with good food, cheap drinks at a neighbourhood (preferably) pub while surrounded by the people who matter.

Come celebrate my life, not mourn my passing.

6. Ultimately, not having any regrets

According to a Singapore Management University study in 2019, 62 per cent of Singaporeans wish they will live a full and complete life, without regrets.

Therefore, I urge you guys to talk openly, plan and act on your preferred end-of-life care plans together with your loved ones.

Singapore Hospice Council (SHC) has, on 9 October, launched the first of three episodes of an online game called The Living Game.

Which essentially is an interactive story that maps out the journeys of three main characters: a patient, a caretaker and a volunteer in palliative care.

The purpose of this role-play game is to educate youths and young adults aged 18 to 35 about living well and how they can learn to enhance understanding about palliative care and to support those they love, to live well and eventually leave well.

Check out the game here.

If you are keen to know about palliative care, its benefits and services available in Singapore, do sign up for the free virtual talks jointly organised by SHC and the National Library Board on Friday, Oct. 29, 2021 from 6pm to 7pm and Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2021 from 2pm to 3.30pm here and here. Do check out the SHC exhibition at Jurong Regional Library happening from now till Nov. 29, 2021.

This sponsored article by the Singapore Hospice Council made this writer ponder his mortality.

Top photo via unsplash