Death and dying are not topics that most people can discuss easily. It means we have to face the inevitable: that someone we love will one day pass on. Or even, that we ourselves are going to die.
As a licensed funeral director, I have seen people in their darkest hours. The grief they are trying to manage is sometimes so overwhelming that making any decisions, let alone ones regarding a funeral, can be too much to bear.
Many of our families will share that they wished they had made the choice to pre-plan the funeral of their loved one or for themselves. Why? Because as difficult as it may seem, pre-planning can alleviate so much of the stress and anxiety that naturally comes with planning a funeral when one is grieving.
Families I have worked with who were able to pre-plan a funeral for their loved ones have shared with me that it was one of the best, though one of the most emotional decisions they ever made.
Why Pre-Planning is a Gift
When her mother died unexpectedly of a massive stroke in 2005, Ruth was overwhelmed with grief. She drove to the funeral home with her father to make arrangements. Turns out, her mother had pre-planned her own funeral. “It was the greatest gift she could leave to me,” Ruth said. “It was remarkable that she had done that – for herself, but mostly, for those of us she left behind. If I would have tried to make decisions about her funeral, it would have been so emotionally overwhelming. But because she had taken care of everything, I was just able to breathe a little easier those first few days.”
What Decisions are Made During Pre-Planning?
Ruth’s story is just one example of how a pre-planned funeral can help a family member manage their grief at a time when so many decisions have to made in a short period of time.
More than 50 decisions need to be made after someone dies; some may be simple or straightforward, while others will be involved, and will require thoughtful consideration.
Talking about each step in advance, can oftentimes help to alleviate the stress on family members left behind.
Honoring a Lifetime of Memories
Funeral arrangements are a deeply personal choice. Pre-planning provides you with the time needed to make practical, detailed decisions that reflect your wishes and budget. When someone dies, we want to honor them and respect their legacy by giving them a funeral service that reflects who they were and the life they lived, as well as the type of service they wanted.
A conversation about pre-planning a funeral might be an uneasy discussion to have with your loved ones, but it may be one that will save your family much heartache in the end.
Learn more about pre-planning, or call 302-368-9500.