Biscuit Tin was born from my personal experience of losing my parents and having to close down their lives.
I am Sheila Hogan and I am the founder of Biscuit Tin which has finally come to fruition four years after I first had the idea in the year after Dad died.
Sadly, my Mum had died quite a few years before Dad so as an only child I had total responsibility to close down both their lives when Dad died.
To be honest, I was completely unprepared and shocked at all the things I had to find, everything I had to do and the decisions I had to make on Dad’s behalf. All at a time of emotional distress, and even though I consider myself pretty strong I found it extremely difficult and stressful.
Although I had supported Dad with everything when Mum died, he was there to help and guide things. He shared the decisions, he knew where things were and he was still living on in their house. A lot of things didn't need to change and could simply pass straight to him.
Mum and Dad
Everyone knew my friend’s Mum was organised and had planned her funeral down to every last detail, however, despite turning the house upside down her ‘wishes envelope’ was never found. It caused arguments and much heartache when planning the funeral and still upsets them to this day. A Biscuit Tin would have secured all her wishes. Jane, Halifax
When Dad died all I had was a Biscuit Tin full to the brim of old papers. Some of it was relevant, some not, there were lots of gaps and there were so many things that we just hadn’t discussed because it was too taboo to think about, let alone discuss or plan in advance.
So, I ended up having to make a lot of decisions on his behalf, some trivial and others difficult and sensitive. I think the hardest decision I have ever had to make was ‘what will Dad wear in his coffin?’ …would he want to be smart and formal or comfy and casual? I remember torturing myself over it whilst rummaging through his wardrobe. Such a daft thing to torture yourself over because I knew if Dad had been there he would have said in his dulcet Yorkshire tones ‘I don’t give a monkey love, just put me in owt’ , but I still did.
Dealing with the trauma of both my parents dying months apart was made even harder with bills to pay, policies to track down and the sheer amount of admin I had to deal with; having a Biscuit TIN would have made the whole process so much easier especially as so much is online these days. Naomi, Edinburgh
There was also the admin to deal with, tying up his affairs and all the loose ends of both his and Mum’s lives together. There’s wasn’t a complex estate and there wasn’t even a house to sell at the end but when I looked back it took about two years overall to close everything down with many weeks spent on the phone, about 50 letters sent with proof of death certificate and even some meetings to attend in person.
There was also the clearing of their personal belongings which was pretty traumatic. I sorted everything into three piles one for the things that were sentimental to me, one for things too good for the tip so destined for the Charity Shop and the other for the tip. If there were things in there that were sentimental to their friends I just didn’t have a clue.
So, it got me thinking that the way we do all this today is completely broken…Why do we pretend it’s never going to happen to us?, Why don’t we plan it like we plan any other important event in our lives? Why do we leave it for those we love to sort out when they are upset? How will my daughter or husband know what I want? How will they find and close all my digital stuff? How complex is my life compared to Mum and Dad’s! How many arguments could there be if siblings or blended families were involved?…the questions are endless and the idea of Biscuit Tin was born – a digital secure vault to store it all in advance, released to those you have nominated when you die.
Losing my sister was a trauma in itself and concluding her estate added to this. I am a resourceful person but the upset and enormity of the task was a challenge even for me. I truly believe that our journey would have been less stressful and upsetting if we’d had a Biscuit Tin. Sam, Bradford
So, my mission is to make a difference and change the way we do this stuff!
Let’s all make death less taboo, completely acceptable and easy to plan for ourselves in advance. Ease the burden on those you leave behind and remove any unnecessary hassle and stress - record it all in your digital Biscuit Tin!
If Biscuit Tin had been available a few years ago it would have saved me a lot of heartache and stress. I would like Biscuit Tin to do that for you and yours.
Happy organising and making a difference!