Planning your own death

by | November 12, 2013

Death continues to be a taboo subject in Singapore but one person has no problems talking about it and sharing her plans about her death.


Sixty-seven-year-old GL Lim (who does not want her picture taken) has made arrangements for her death while she is still alive and she wants others to know why doing this is very important.

Ageless Online has a chat with her:


Can you share when and what made you decide to pre-plan your death and why this is important to you?

I helped with the pre-planning for my in-laws in 2010 and I realised I should also do the same for myself as I wanted to be in control on how my final journey would be like. I have four daughters and three grandchildren and as the young these days may not have full understanding of traditional Chinese cultures and traditions, I have decided to do my own pre-planning. I spoke to a few friends of mine and realised a handful of them have already prepared their final resting place.


Can you share the details of your pre-planning?

I was not sure if I should tell my family members about my decision as death is a taboo subject. I visited a few columbariums on my own and finally when I had made my choice on one, I brought my family members down to take a look. I was surprised they were very open and supportive of my decision. More importantly, they were comfortable and I knew I made the right decision.


Can you share your family members’ feeling on this?

My family understands this is a journey that everyone has to go through. They are supportive of my choices and having their support is very important.


Death is a very taboo subject and not many people want to talk about it or even pre-plan. What would you say to them?

Yes, death is a very taboo subject. Not many would want to talk about it. However, this is a process we all have to go through. Instead of avoiding it, we should all be educated and approach it with an open mind.


Do you have any advice to other seniors to pre-plan?

This is your journey, nobody but yourself should decide how you want to leave, and one should leave with dignity and in peace.


(** PHOTO CREDITS: Aya Brackett, courtesy of, used with permission)


1 Comment

  1. Stephen Teng

    Yes, it is a good idea to plan for one’s death & how one should be sent off & to be remembered by the loved ones. However, should not one also plan for one’s eternity after death? It may be futuristic, extraterrestrial & unlikely concepts to comprehend, but it definitely affects every human being, young & old on this earth, including in Singapore. Everyone has to enter it after death, whether one likes it or not. However, what credentials does one need?

    Birth & death is part & parcel of human life on earth, just like spring & winter or planting & harvesting cycle. Life goes on & is replaced by someone else. So, if one has done his/her best in life & has prepared well for his/her eternity, he/she will have no angst at all to talk about death.

    However, life on this earth is just a fraction of eternity. Is each one of us prepared for eternity or does death end all & everything in this earth & there is nothing else after death. Is it really so? If it is really so, then be it.

    However, common sense, logic, conscience & the awe of the universe suggest otherwise. If this is so, should we not prepare for eternity? On earth, we are very meticulous in acquiring a career, car, house, marriage, etc, so that we have a satisfied earthly life. Then what about one’s eternity? Should not one be as meticulous in preparing for one’s eternity, which has no end? Should not one have eternity with bliss with the Creator, rather than His enemy, who comes in many disguises as angel of light? Should not one investigate how this can be done in this life, while we have all the time to do so?

    Ancient scriptures point to a Creator & this Creator is the God of Abraham, who has been highly regarded by the Jews, Christians & Muslims alike. Can this long history people be wrong? This Creator also caused only one sinless person in the whole universe history to be born of a virgin birth, to live & sacrifice his life for the sins of the human race & after 3 days, be raised from death to be with Him to intercede for us, upon one’s acknowledgment & acceptance. So, should not one get reconciled with Him before it is too late? It is really one’s choice/decision for the type of life one wants for eternity. If there is no eternity, one has nothing to lose, as everything ends here. But, what if eternity exists, then where will one be found?

    When we came into this world, we had no choice for obvious reason, but now that we are matured & before death, we have a choice to enter the kind of eternity: bliss or torment; heaven or hell in all eternity. Can we afford to squander away this choice/decision eternally with no second chance? Do we want to regret at all for all eternity?


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