People can be a little unsettled by a discussion about death, but you’d be surprised how empowering it can be to face it head on.
Last week, we talked about our August 23rd screening of the PBS Frontline documentary, “Being Mortal” which revealed that doctors, with all their good intentions, are not always equipped to discuss end-of-life issues with their patients. That’s why it’s critical for these kinds of discussions to happen within families, as well as between a family, or individual, and a trusted funeral home.
From our experience, making prearrangements can be particularly beneficial, mentally and emotionally, for those facing a terminal illness or those who are nearing the end of life naturally.
If that describes you, here are four ways preplanning can help you process the idea of death and even find comfort in the midst of such a difficult time:
1.) A chance to reflect
At Krause Funeral Home, we believe every person is unique, and their funeral service should reflect that. As a result, we offer a number of ways families and individuals can express their personality through personalization, or that of their loved one. Balloon releases, special video tributes, or memory tables are just a few of the options.
If you know you’re going to pass away, now is a natural time for you to reflect on your life. Go through photographs and other keepsakes, and select ones that are particularly meaningful. You can create a slideshow or memory board with them to be featured at your service.
Look through your closets and drawers – what are some of your favorite things? Your fishing pole? A book or Bible? Maybe it’s the afghan your grandmother knitted for you or your first rocking chair. We can incorporate all of these special items into your farewell.
2.) A chance to say goodbye
When you think about it, funeral services are actually more for those who have been left behind than for the person who is deceased. They can bring a tremendous amount of closure and peace.
We’re all used to hearing loved ones eulogize the person who has been lost. But wouldn’t it be special if you were able to write letters, or even record video messages, for friends and family that could be read, or played, at your own service? Preplanning gives you the power to do that.
3.) A chance for one last gift of love
At Krause Funeral Home, we have heard time and again from families about how much it meant to them that their parent or grandparent preplanned their funeral. It removes a tremendous amount of pressure – both emotional and financial – when arrangements are already in place when a death occurs. Your family is then free to focus on remembering you and figuring out what life looks like now that you’re gone. This can also minimize disputes between family members.
Preplanning is a tremendous gift that only you can give to your loved ones. It can also bring you peace of mind knowing everything is taken care of for them.
4.) A chance to communicate who you were
Perhaps you have very particular ideas about cremation v. burial, or a specific vision for your service. When you plan ahead, you are in charge of deciding what aspects of the funeral are most important. You get to ensure your remains are treated in a way that matches up to your values and beliefs. You can also determine whether or not your service will have a religious thread or perhaps be more secular. The main thing is that it’s up to you, and you’re in the driver’s seat.
What aspects of preplanning would be the most comforting to you? Share with us in the comments below.