Why do we find it so hard to talk about death, writes Katie Hopkins
If there’s one thing we can be sure of in life, it’s death. Yet it’s something we find incredibly difficult to talk about.
Most of us can’t even find the words for a sympathy card. Plenty of families tiptoe around the subject until it’s too late and they’re left arguing in a gloomy solicitor’s office when the will doesn’t go their way.
Robin Williams’ family are no different. They’ve been engaged in a pitched battle over whether his third wife or his kids from earlier marriages should get his trophies and awards. She has a £4.7 million house; the rest is theirs.
As my trusty divorce lawyer said, no matter how much stuff you have, it always comes down to a row over the last silver spoon. He was right. Having split up the big stuff like our lives, the house and car, the real row happened over a family heirloom I didn’t have and my ex was sure I did.
It’s easy to say: ‘This would never happen to us – we all get along.’ But as with weddings, funny things happen when families are forced together. Tensions are high, old divisions raise their heads and possessions take on new meaning.
In our increasingly complicated families, with lots of children by different husbands, lines of inheritance are a tangled web. Pricey is a ‘5 by 3′ – who’s going to take the lion’s share when she pops off? I’m a ‘3 by 2′.
I like to think we’re one big family, but what if the children fall out? When my husband dies, surely he’d want his son to have some of his special items so they stay on ‘his side’? What would my girls think about that?
Some bitter individuals use their will to send a message from beyond the grave. My husband works for an animal charity and they employ a solicitor to help individuals leave their cash to furry animals. There’s no better way of showing your family how much you hated them in life than leaving all their inheritance to a cat’s home.
Or you can make like Mark Zuckerberg and promise to give away 99 per cent of your wealth
in your life. Nigella Lawson’s promised to leave her children no financial security when she dies, saying it ruins people. So do drugs, Nigella dearest, but that didn’t stop you.
I intend to leave my manky onesie from the CBB house to Nadia Sawalha, just to give her nightmares, and a DVD of My Fat Story to Perez Hilton as he continues to battle his back fat.
But for now, I encourage my family to talk of death as easily as we talk of shopping or what’s for tea. We’re going to stick dots on things the kids want: blue for India, pink for Poppy and yellow for Max. One day I woke up with a pink dot on my engagement ring. That girl will go far.
My dad has his funeral planned out. He wants to be cremated in a cardboard coffin, with few hymns and no flowers. Can you imagine anything more depressing? What he hasn’t worked out is that when he croaks he can’t tell me what to do any more – so he’ll be getting the nicest coffin I can buy and enough flowers to put My Big Fat Gypsy Funeral to shame!