Home » Preparing for the end of life

Preparing for the end of life

by Jimmy Rhatigan

MET A good friend during the week and he was really buzzing that he had just paid for a plot for himself in his local cemetery.

Begorrah said I, that’s forward planning at its best. I hope you get good use for it.

I tried to extract my foot from my mouth. 

But it was too late.

No point in trying to catch the horse by the ears when he was already halfway up the haggard.

Anyway as with life, the cost of coal and everything in between, the ill-chosen words had a positive underbelly.

Cloud, silver lining and all that come to mind.

My buddy may have concluded I had lost the plot and decided to edge me on the safe and narrow.

Are you going to Judith Ashton’s book launch in Springhill Hotel on Thursday, he asked?

Maybe, I hesitated. I had heard about it, put it on the long finger but this time he dismissed my waffle.

The 7pm launch of Be Prepared, a book of inspiration and advice on how to prepare for the end of life is a rescheduled launch party after the original was halted by a Covid avalanche.


My mate produced a copy of Be Prepared which he had received from the author, a woman he admires and respects.

I may have been the victim of a plot. 

Regardless, on perusing through 124 pages I was flabbergasted, gobsmacked even at a production that is so beautifully cobbled together, using simple but persuasive language that would inject new life into any day.

What follows an infusion of literary excellence, and more importantly a somewhat tantalizing message that being prepared for death will, in Thomastown woman Judith’s words, will be your gift to yourself and your parting present to loved ones.

Since 2013 Judith has practised as a non-religious celebrant and has conducted many baby naming ceremonies, blessings, weddings and funerals.

The latter is merely the tip of an iceberg of the hugely active and interesting woman, a mother of two sons, Dan and Jack Walsh, a woman who loves her own kith and kin and delights in sharing her wellbeing experiences with the world and its mother.


A local man who has engaged Judith to supervise and conduct his funeral wishes was taken aback with her frankness.

“I certainly will be there: provided I don’t pass away before you.”

You get exactly what it says on the tin.

Honesty and Integrity.

The final words come from Judith.

“More and more people are opting for non-religious funeral services. I believe that a funeral is a very special occasion and should both mourn the loss and celebrate the life of the deceased person.

“Death comes about in many ways and I work sensitively and closely with the bereaved to create a fitting send off for the departed. 

“I can assure people that despite the intensity of feelings that death elicits, there are ways to help them through a challenging time which will empower them and resource them at this difficult moment in their lives.”

Remember the launch date is this Thursday, April 28, Springhill Hotel, 7pm.

Related Articles