Sunday, February 20, 2011

Please, Do Your Family a Favor...

My Mother passed away last week (Tuesday, February 15th) and due to her foresight and thoughtfulness, the days following her death were somewhat less stressful than they might have been.

You see, back in January of 1999 Mom planned her own funeral, decided where she was going to be buried, selected the grave marker – and paid for it all!

She purchased the cemetery plot and grave marker outright and got an “insurance policy” to pay for the funeral services. Premiums were paid for three years and guaranteed the cost. She also discussed those arrangements with me, so I knew what she wanted.

She had selected only one song for the service so we chose several more that we knew she liked. The only things that were left to decide and pay for were the flowers for the casket, the funeral cards, thank you notes, and the obituary notices.

The other thing that Mom did that made our decision for us when the time came, was that she discussed her wishes in regards to “heroic measures” or life support in the event that she became terminally ill. It was a heart-wrenching decision that was by no means easy, but essentially one that she had made and we were bound to honor that decision.

Last November, Apple wrote about the process she went through in pre-planning her Mother's funeral as well as selecting a burial site and grave marker. Tough decisions were made and it was stressful, but imagine having to make those decisions in a very short period of time and under even more stressful conditions.

It is definitely not an easy task, but one which your family will forever be grateful. So, if you can, get your funeral planned. At the very least, discuss your wishes with your family. And, if at all possible get it paid for. Now.

Thank you, Mom, for this gift that you gave us.

Mom was cremated and the cremains were buried in the plot shared with her sister at Lakeview Cemetery, Larwill, Indiana. Mom selected a bench marker so that we might have a place to sit when visiting her.


Cheryl Palmer said...

Can you imagine if she hadn't taken care of these things? My mother had done the same exact thing. Everything was decided, bought and paid for. Such a blessing it was. I plan to do this also if possible. I sure do not wish my daughter or husband to have to figure it all out. I also would like to write my own obituary.

May your mother rest in peace.

Ken Spangler said...


I can understand this post all too well. When my Dad passed away in 2000, he had a small insurance but nothing else. We were trying to grieve but at the same time we had to go out and find a coffin, buy a plot (not just for him but a double so that we could secure one for my mother to be buried beside him), then the kicker...we all had to be called in to be told how much it was going to cost for the funeral. Between the 6 kids it was about 1300 or 1400 dollars a piece! For some of us living paycheck to paycheck, it took a while to pay that off!
Thank goodness your mother took care of most of this for you!
Thanks for sharing!

Michelle Goodrum said...


I am so sorry for your loss. Thank goodness your mother had the foresight to take care of so many of the details and ease your pain, if only a little. We are keeping you in our thoughts and prayers. Be strong and take care of yourself.

Family Curator said...

Becky, thank you for sharing this valuable note. I wish Mom had done a few of these things...

Do take care of youself these days.