Website targets taboo of talking about last wishes

Tracey Cunningham and fellow Scot Catherine-Ann Reid set up the For When I Am Gone service
Tracey Cunningham and fellow Scot Catherine-Ann Reid set up the For When I Am Gone service
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A WEBSITE enabling people to detail their wishes and relevant contact details in the event of their death has been set up to address a topic people want to avoid talking about and help reduce stress for grieving relatives.

Tracey Cunningham, director of For When I Am Gone, said she was inspired by her parents after having the same conversation every time they went on holiday. They would say where their paperwork was if anything were to happen, “to which the standard reply was ‘don’t be daft Mum — we don’t need to talk about this’”.

She said it got her thinking about this unwillingness to talk about the inevitable, and so set up a service with fellow director and Scot Catherine-Ann Reid to help deal with the “practical side” of this.

Users of the site can specify as much as they want, including details of their lawyer, gym membership, magazine subscriptions as well as the songs they’d like played at their funeral. You can also specify your organ donor preference.

It was discovered recently that 4.1 million adults in the UK who want to donate their organs when they die say they haven’t talked to a loved one about that decision. However, 70 per cent had told a loved one how they would spend a lottery win.

Cunningham, whose background is in events management at organisations including VisitScotland, said detailing information provides peace of mind and saves “so many arguments”.

She also noted that while it can take about an hour to register relevant information, it can save “days and weeks” of stress.

Since its recent soft launch the service has attracted a couple of hundred users, according to Cunningham, who said while she is optimistically aiming to get the “entire population” signed up, she expects it to achieve “steady progress” mainly by word of mouth.