Be open to talking about death

What a great start to a new year to read of the kindness and compassion shown by the Nam Hong Welfare Service Society to reach out to disadvantaged seniors in Yishun and to encourage discussions on death and dying (Seniors get free portraits in bid to lift taboo about death; Jan 1).

Death, just like mental illness, is often viewed as a taboo subject.

Yet, it is very much a part of life's journey.

Facing up to the reality of impending death enables relatives to make early and concrete plans to ensure that their dying loved ones pass on with dignity, knowing they were surrounded with love and care before their last breath.

Areas that require advance planning when a loved one is in the last stages of his or her life include preparing an obituary, writing a will, determining the distribution of assets, settling outstanding loans, arranging meetings to put to bed any unresolved issues, and taking note of funeral service preferences.

There are hundreds of seniors who live alone and there is a dire need to reach out to them so that when they eventually die, they do not feel unloved and uncared for.

Raymond Anthony Fernando