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The Gift of Your Funeral

The Gift of Your Funeral

Most people avoid the topic of death. Most people really avoid the topic of their own. Thinking about your own impermanence on earth, or your loved ones grieving the loss of you, are things the majority of Americans prefer not to do if they don’t have to. As uncomfortable as it may feel, talking about your final wishes with those closest to you can be very beneficial to them. Actually making your final arrangements in advance is a gift.   

Having discussions about what you want your family to do with your body and what kind of gathering to have in honor of your life is important. We often see families argue about what Dad or Mom would have wanted, adding an unfortunate and heavier burden to an already difficult time. Many people believe that by telling their family not to have a funeral, it will alleviate them from added grief when the time comes. However, this is far from the truth. Taking away the opportunity to gather with friends and family in shared grief and support can actually prolong the process of healing from loss. Connecting with one’s community to talk about their collective loss has profound benefits to help the bereaved cope and come to terms with a loved one’s death.

Pre-planning your own funeral, memorial service or celebration of life takes a multitude of extra burdens off your family’s shoulders. Preplanning is the act in which a family records their arrangement preferences and vital statistics in advance to alleviate their families from having to do so at the time of need.

When someone dies, there is a laundry list of things to do, people to call, and decisions to be made. Typically, there can be anywhere between 75-125 different decisions that need to be made when someone passes away. Even the simplest final arrangements come with details and responsibilities that, for a grieving individual, can feel monumentally difficult. It’s hard enough for a family to lose a loved one, let alone to then have to come to the funeral home to record information and make decisions that have never been thought about.

By choosing your method of disposition (Above or in-ground burial? Cremation? Scattering?), casket or urn, type of flower arrangements, venue, communicating the details of your obituary, and more ahead of time, you ensure your family won’t have to think about it at all. This frees them to spend more time where they’re needed most, and less time worrying about the particulars. The more you plan in advance, the less your family has to do when the times comes.

Paying for your cremation or burial and funeral services in advance can alleviate the financial responsibility from your loved ones. But that’s not the only benefit. By pre-paying for your funeral costs, you are guaranteed protection from inflated prices years and even decades down the road. (Some costs, such as state-regulated fees for licenses and death certificates, are not included.) When you pay ahead of time, your funeral plan policy is protected and held by an insurance company until the time of your death, guaranteeing that it will be available at the time of need. If you move out of state or should the funeral go out of business, your money is protected.

The thought of coming to a funeral home to discuss your own final arrangements can seem daunting. But what you actually experience can help put you at ease. At Miller Jones, you have the option to meet with one of our pre-planning advisors wherever you feel most comfortable—at one of our locations, virtually or on the phone, or at your home. They will help guide you through your options and help you make the best choices for you and your family.

When you die, the responsibility of planning your arrangements must fall on someone. What if it didn’t have to be your loved ones? By pre-planning, all they have to do when the time comes is call the funeral home and answer a few questions. Everything is taken care of for them, freeing them to be with the people who need them most.

If you’d like to learn more about pre-planning, call us at (951) 658-3161. We’re happy to answer any questions you have.