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Let's Talk About Dying 8: They Buried They're Hero

By Helena Dolny

Published by City Press 18 August 2013

Let's Talk About Dying 8: They Buried They're Hero

Andrew Khehla Lukhele, founder president of National Stokvels Association of South Africa e-mailed the following question to me:

“Joe Slovo made a valiant attempt to make a statement of reasonable, chaste, prudent and dignified arrangements for funerals by being buried in a pine box in Avalon cemetery. I would like to know how difficult was it for the family to accept the decision to have Joe Slovo buried in Soweto and what were his views on lavish funerals?”

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Let's Talk About Dying 7: After The Last Breath What Next?

By Helena Dolny

Published by City Press 11 August 2013

Let's Talk About Dying 7: After The Last Breath What Next?

My late husband Joe Slovo lived with cancer for three years and six months. The first year was rough: chemotherapy doing its job. The last six were deeply painful but there were upsides, like loving and living intensely in the present.

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Let's Talk About Dying 6: Opening The Red Box

By Helena Dolny

Published by City Press 4 Augut 2013

Let's Talk About Dying 6: Opening The Red Box

My Check List for Checking Out (City Press 14th July) included NINE items of things it’s helpful to have made decisions about or information (pin codes and passwords) that will make things easier for your family in the event of your death.

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Let's Talk About Dying 5: Talking Coffins Over Coffee

By Helena Dolny

Published by City Press 28 July 2013

Let's Talk About Dying 5: Talking Coffins Over Coffee

Check lists for checking out - the practical stuff- it’s easy to draw up such a list and not that difficult to execute. (City Press 21st July 2013). Why have so many of us not done this? It would seem that our level of discomfort for the discussions that need to go before is too high.

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Let's Talk About Dying 4: Check List for Checking Out

By Helena Dolny

Published by City Press 21 July 2013

Let's Talk About Dying 2: Check List for Checking Out

When my husband died, my oldest daughter had just turned fifteen and her younger sister was ten years old. In the months that followed I worried about “What happens to them if something happens to me?” I made a new will. I opened a bank account in my daughter’s name and deposited “Emergency Money.” Joe’s dying taught me that bank accounts get closed on death and that access to money is not that simple or speedy. I showed my daughters where to find the file: Mum – In the event of my death.

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Let's Talk About Dying 2: Families Fracturing Around Funerals

By Helena Dolny

Published by City Press  7 July 2013

Let's Talk About Dying 2: Families Fracturing Around Funerals

Qunu or Mvezo? The Mandela family’s disagreement will be settled in court. Most of us try for privacy, “No washing of dirty linen in public”.  As a nation we’d prefer our beloved icon’s slow fading away to be bathed in dignity, but we are witness to a public family spat.

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Let’s Talk About Dying 1: Letting Go

by Helena Dolny

Published by City Press on 30th June 2013

Let’s Talk About Dying 1: Letting Go

I feel for the Mandelas and all the nearest and dearest. The days are unfolding one by one by one. I think this is one of the most awful times that any family has to bear, watching the slow ebbing away of life of the person you love so much.  The pain verges on the unbearable and most of us are not at our best when we’re stressed.  Tensions mount; conversations implode. Family members hurt each other, often unconsciously as they whirl around in an emotional headspin, and they are unaware or less caring about how they impact on others.

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