March 2023 Issue | Life in Order
By Elizabeth Skenes Millen
No one wants to talk about dying, that is for sure. And planning your own funeral is something many don’t even want to discuss. However, deciding your funeral arrangements in advance can give peace of mind to both you and your family when the time comes.
Why plan ahead?
While a great funeral home with a compassionate and caring staff will help guide you in making funeral arrangements for your loved one, it is so much easier if that loved one had a say in the process before they passed. The immense emotions that come with laying a loved one to rest are counterintuitive to making big, lasting decisions. As with any big decision in life, it’s helpful to have time to research and consider options, and funeral planning is no exception.
Pre-planning is an option that allows you and your spouse to not only choose your funeral home, but also choose everything needed for the day of your funeral, whenever that may be. Imagine how this would ease the burden and reduce the stress on your loved ones by having all of these decisions made, knowing that Mom or Dad is getting exactly what they want.
Pre-planning also allows for you to make your wishes known. Your surviving family members will not have to think about—or argue over— whether you want to be cremated or buried, what casket to choose, what you would like to wear, what songs to choose, who should speak, or how much money to spend. None of this will be a factor because you will have already planned it all out for them. Unlikely as it sounds, you will be the guest of honor at your funeral, so why not be a part of the planning process?
Lawrence Melton, Location Leader at Island Funeral Home said a mother came in and pre-planned and pre-paid her entire funeral. “She was perfectly healthy at the time and in her pre-planning, she gave us a note to give her family when the time came. Years later, she passed, and we gave her family the note. It read: ‘I told you I would care for you all the way to the end.’”
This family was able to take a large, collective sigh of relief. Their mom had planned everything, and all her family had to do was start the grieving process, which is where healing begins. They were so relieved they didn’t have to guess at what she would have wanted. The peace of mind her family felt was the last gift she gave her children.
In addition, pre-planning can help reduce costs and save money. In fact, when you plan ahead, you can pay over time, if needed, and quite possibly by the day of your funeral everything will be paid for. This is another burden lifted from the family, worrying about how to pay for funeral arrangements, or how much to spend, or not to spend.
Your funeral is your ultimate farewell and should be exactly how you want it. Pre-planning gives you the gift of honoring your life how you want to be remembered, and it’s easy to do. Just call your preferred funeral home and set up a meeting. The experts will take it from there.