Have you thought about planning your own funeral? My parents prepaid their funerals and purchased their burial plots, but left the planning to their adult children. They also purchased their own headstone and had exactly what information they wanted chiseled on it. When Mom passed away, we had a funeral service for her, a luncheon afterward, and her ashes were placed at the cemetery at a later date. We also wrote her obituary.
As of this writing, my dad is still alive and the planning will again fall on his children.
When you plan your own memorial service or funeral, you are able to express your wishes and desires, and can give your family peace of mind. One of the main problems with having the adult children make the decisions is that many don’t always get along. The last thing anyone wants is arguing and bickering over someone’s gravesite and headstone.
If you don’t want to plan the whole service, at least write down your general wishes as a guideline. Make sure family members are aware of your decisions. One copy can be on file at the funeral home of your choice, and you can give a copy to each one of your children and your spouse, if he or she is still alive.
I know one person who wanted people to celebrate his death rather than mourn the loss, so he set aside a certain amount of money to spend on a party at a local restaurant. There were tears, of course, but there were also a lot of jokes and stories about his life over the years. Everyone went away from the celebration of his life appreciating who he was and the role he played in their life.
If you want to plan your own funeral or memorial service, by all means do so. Give your family peace of mind knowing they are carrying out your wishes without having to make the tough decisions that can bring division to even the most close-knit families.
We will go into more detail in our next article, but for now, consider whether preplanning is for you and your family.