by Rick Lucas
It could be the toughest conversation you will ever have and the easiest to put off. People tend to not want to face the necessity of discussing or planning their own funeral service. Planning ahead your funeral service is as much a responsibility as planning for your retirement or kids education. Discussing it with a professional that deals with the hard facts on a daily basis can make the chore a little more palatable but does not mean you can avoid informing your family of your decisions.
The conversation is such an easy task to put off because unlike retirement planning there is no real date or time frame to take into consideration. It almost seems to be human nature to procrastinate when there is no real deadline. If there is no realistic window of time to reference then it seems so easy to wait for that window to creep towards closing before acting. The problem is that sometimes that window is slammed shut due to events beyond our control and decisions are left undone. Those decisions are left to family that is already burdened with tragedy and loss multiplying the emotional distress.
The unknown is scary. Death is scary. The unknowable could be the most important factor in causing people to leave for another day thoughts of their own demise. Talking about it makes it real. How will it happen? How will it all end? Will I lay in bed lingering or will I disappear like lightning? All unsettling thoughts even for the most pragmatic. Setting those thoughts aside and making family aware of your final wishes will help to put things into perspective. Knowing that your final wishes have been attended to and the tough decisions have been made helps attain peace of mind that is immeasurable.
It really is unfortunate but disputes among family members can be a real problem. The disputes can be a myriad of issues ranging from money to who gets the good china. It is understandable. It is so much easier to let whoever fight about whatever later especially if there are health issues. That would be the time to consult with a lawyer and write up a will that is clear about your final wishes. It would be irresponsible to not address those issues or to let it turn into an even bigger dispute. That is why it is even more important to address while you are healthy and have the energy to have the hard discussions and make the tough decisions.
It can be difficult to look into a future that you may not be a part of. There is a sense of relief once the hard part is finished and the plans are made. Pre Arranging your funeral will guarantee that your family will be allowed to grieve and heal instead of worry and plan.