Wisdom: Planning Your Final Expression
“Of all the ways one can express love, one of the most thoughtful involves memorial planning before the need arises.”
The first reason is perhaps the most important one: time. When the burial and/or funeral is not planned and paid for in advance, the surviving spouse and family are left making many challenging decisions, including who will pay for the expenses, whether to choose cremation or traditional, casket or urn type and more. This can take days or even weeks, depending on how many people must be involved in making the final decisions; often delaying the entire process unnecessarily. At such a time, you want your family to be brought together with peace and a clear frame of mind rather than being stressed by having to choose between all the options.
Because of this, at no point during the process do family members have the time or luxury of grieving and experiencing closure. Ideally, you want to give them the opportunity to celebrate a life well-lived.
The second reason is to save your family money. When nothing is taken care of ahead of time, you are forcing the people you love the most to make a major financial decision and handle a business transaction, when they cannot even decide what kind of bread to buy at the store. They are forced to make an immediate decision during a very stressful and emotional time. When people are forced to handle last minute decisions they are often based on guilt, remorse, and/or extreme emotions. Burial and funeral arrangements have to be handled and paid for almost immediately after a person’s death. They happen before any estates have been or can be settled, assets distributed or life insurance paid.
One final reason to plan is the control that you have over your personal final arrangements. When you preplan and pay for your burial and funeral, you are dictating the many details and specifics of what you want. A planned burial and/or funeral crafted by your personal preferences can reaffirm to your loved ones who you were and how you lived your life.
Planning a burial and funeral can be worrisome, depressing, and exhausting. It can also be your last moment of self expression. Regardless of your feelings and personal comfort with advance planning, be assured that a prearranged funeral can make the most powerful impact on your family and friends when they are faced with your death.
If you have any questions, would like to have me meet with your family, or have me as a speaker for your group, feel free to call anytime.