WHAT DO THEY DO?
“To rise with Christ, we must die with Christ.” (2 Cor 5:8) We all know that death is inevitable and hard to think about. That’s why most of us recoil from making funeral plans. But making funeral arrangements is not morbid. It is an act of love for those who survive your death.
No one preplans a funeral for himself. Rather, you take up this uncomfortable task because you want to take care of those who survive you. Here are several reasons to have the conversation and make the arrangements.
Preplanning a funeral lifts a heavy burden from your family. It frees them from the difficult decisions that need to be made at a trying time and often prevents family members from disagreements about what you want. Preplanning ensures that your wishes are carried out.
Making arrangements before you die enriches the grieving process for your loved ones. It permits them to remember you in every detail of the funeral and experience your life in the readings you pick, the epitaph on your headstone, the casket or urn you selected. Each and every detail serves as a sacred reminder of you.
Covering the costs of the funeral before your death frees your loved ones from unexpected financial worries. Setting up a funeral trust or purchasing insurance reminds your family that you were responsible, caring and thoughtful.
A final benefit of preplanning is providing your family with a sense of closure about your death. When all of the earthly details are covered, the family can move into the healing process and what life will be like now that you are gone. Preplanning gives them more opportunity to honor your life through prayer and the sharing of stories rather than concerns about how to handle the arrangements. It gives them permission to be fully present at your funeral service.
By Alice Heinzen
Director for the Office of Marriage and Family Life