Planning ahead can be of great benefit to you and those you love. Death is never easy. First, there may be denial that a death has occurred. Later, there may be anger, thoughts of “if only…” depression, and finally acceptance of the fact that a life has been lived. Suppression or denial of the grief process may increase the time required for acceptance to occur.
The earlier survivors accept a death, the better in emotional terms of healing. Visitation with an open casket can help to hasten acceptance. By seeing the loved one’s body in a casket, survivors realize that the death is real, and that it has occurred. The support offered by friends and relatives during visitation, funeral, and burial has stood the test of time in assisting families deal with their grief.
Some people may think that they are doing their friends and family a favor by saying, “Don’t make a fuss over me”. However, experience shows that your funeral may be the greatest, most loving gift you will ever give those who love you. It helps them say goodbye in a healthy, positive way.
A vital part in preparation is making your final wishes and desires known to those you love. After a death, survivors are often forced by lack of information to guess what the deceased would have wanted. They may struggle with feelings of guilt for years afterward, worrying that in some way, they may not have carried out the last wishes of their loved one.
A way to spare your survivors this frustration is to take the time now to consider and write down your final wishes and desires. They will then be able to use the information you supply to be sure your chosen way is adhered to. You can consider your “Funeral Pre-Planning Guide” booklet to be a very private first step in the funeral planning process, or you can use it as the foundation upon which you build your pre-arrangement plan. Your Funeral Director can assist you in deciding how far you wish to go in the planning process. He can also show you the various types of caskets and vaults available. There is a large selection of style, material, and cost, and your loved ones will appreciate knowing your preferences.
When your booklet is completed, you will need to decide where to keep it. You may want to give it to your spouse, a grown child, a trusted friend, or the person you have selected to be in charge of your final affairs. There are many potential storage places to consider. Home safe, fireproof document box, desk, etc., have all been used. You may even want to leave it with your attorney. Whatever you decide, it is important to make sure that someone close to you knows where it is. That person should be a family member or friend who will be among the first notified of your death. Make sure that the place you choose for safe - keeping is easily available at a moments notice. A safe deposit box is not recommended because there may be a lengthy delay before it can be legally opened.
Please take the time to fill out your booklet now, while you are thinking of it. A little bit of effort on your part today will help your loved ones face a difficult time in the future.
Pflanz Mendrala Funeral Homes
Portage and PoynetteLocally owned and operated since 1853
There is a sacredness in tears.
They are not the mark of weakness but of power.
They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues.
They are messengers of overwhelming grief, of deep contrition, and of unspeakable love.