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How to make a difficult time less stressful for the ones who will be left behind

We are not trained to deal with or prepare for death or mourning. “The Gift of Preparation” is a very practical “how to” book for creating peace of mind and making a difficult time less stressful for the ones who will be left behind. This book will help change the current thinking culture around this very delicate subject.

Carole Sandberg commenced writing “The Gift of Preparation” six weeks after losing her husband, Sidney. “Having found out the hard way how little information I had in some important areas and how much easier and less stressful the journey would have been had I been better informed”. Sandberg wrote the book in the hope that it would help others to be fully prepared, create peace of mind for them now, and avoid stress later following the death of a loved one.

The book is extremely easy to read and has space after each section to record all your details, and then secure the book in a safe place until needed sometime in the future.

Ita Buttrose wrote that “Everyone should have a copy of this thoughtful, immensely practical and useful book. It tackles end-of-life issues that people need to confront now, in a sensitive and loving way. Author Carole Sandberg has done the community a great service in showing how best we can cope when someone close to us dies”

“The Gift of Preparation” is available from or by emailing Carole at

Life is as much a reality as death, but most of us just don’t want to think about the latter, let alone talk about it. We keep avoiding the subject and just get on with living – very understandable.

But what happens when one day the inevitable hits us, possibly when least expected? What have you done to ensure that the person left behind to deal with everything will be able to grieve in peace and not be stressed out from being in ignorance of all that you managed? How about the reverse picture? Would you want to have this added anguish at such a difficult time when, with some forward thinking actions, this could have been avoided?

We all deal with an abundance of minutia. So much is taken for granted, that it doesn’t occur to us to realise how difficult it will be if suddenly someone else had to deal with everything.

Whether you are still working, have retired or are in the much later stages of life, for many there are conversations and actions you can still take that will make a very meaningful difference to those you love.

From the obvious like wills, advanced care directives and guardianships, passwords, access codes and pins, to the less obvious, that include explaining the intricacies in a financial portfolio and what needs to be done, where to find all legal documents and what to do with them. How about the when, how and from where are all the utilities paid and how to use all those household items, to simply learning how to cook a meal without throwing a frozen dinner into the microwave. Do you know what tablets the family pet has and when? What about very personal wishes around what you would like to leave to people that is not included in your will ? There is so much you can do now that will make a meaningful difference later.

Another possible action you could take that would be invaluable for your future generations, would be to make a recording of your life, your stories, wins, challenges, hopes and dreams, or share them verbally with someone who could record your history on your behalf”.

-Carole Sandberg

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