DEATH is not an easy subject to talk about – in fact, it’s one that many are probably in denial about.
But it doesn’t have to be that way, because a local radio journalist has put the spotlight on it in her new book.
ABC rural reporter Lisa Herbert traded the microphone temporarily and picked up the pen to detail an action plan, so many would have that conversation.
“It always stood out in my mind that people don’t talk about death,” she said.
“Their loved ones put up a brick wall and they don’t want to acknowledge the inevitable.
“That’s really hard so I want to make sure their wishes are heard.”
The Bottom Drawer Book is a light-hearted but candid step-by-step plan about what to do when someone passes, allowing for their wishes to be fulfilled.
“They don’t have to talk about it, they can just write it,” Ms Herbert said.
“You have to be quite practical about this: ‘Hey, what sort of coffin do you want – do you want the top-of-the-range one or an environmentally-friendly one?’”
While she’s usually heard covering the rural rounds and trawling through paddocks or cattle sales, Ms Herbert admits the Western society view of death and dying has been a fascination for sometime.
It was her own grandfather’s experience in trying to tell his family his wishes before they put up a guard that inspired her book.
“My grandfather had lung cancer ... that was his moment, he was addressing his mortality and it never happened,” she recalled.
“And I just thought, ‘wow’, and there are a lot of people in that situation.”
The 69-page book is packed with information but aims to alleviate some of the frustrations families have when their loved one passes.
“There is no one-stop shop, nowhere you can find out all the rules and regulations,” she said.
“So hopefully the book can alleviate it.”
The book is available online at www.thebottomdrawerbook.com.au
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