Memorial Day:

Planning Ahead: Your Last Words

Planning Ahead: Your Last Words

-You’ve written down your choices and wishes for the way your survivors for your after-death care. That’s such a gift to them! Emotions can run all over the place after a death – this is normal – but that means it’s a set-up for painful conflict if there’s disagreement as to how to honor and express our love for someone who’s died. A lot of our feelings during this time can get parked in the Guilt area. So If it’s true for you, writing down something like this is also a gift: These are my wishes, and I know you’ll do your best to honor them. But if for any reason at all that’s not possible, you don’t need to feel guilty. I love you and I know that you love me. –The Four Things that Matter Most by Ira Byock This well-respected doctor of palliative care distilled his experiences into [link to read more…]

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Living on Borrowed Time

Planning Ahead: The most important resource to know about

Thursday, April 26 – When I first heard about the Funeral Consumers Alliance, I was stunned. The FCA is an amazing national non-profit organization with volunteers forming 70 local chapters in 46 states. It has a long, interesting history, to be sure. But the reason the FCA is the most important resource you should know about is because of the wide range of ways in which they support you! They don’t provide financial support, but they do provide information and support for any other aspect of planning and carrying out a funeral, including information about related topics such as body donation. On both the national and the local chapter websites, you can find lots of information and you can also contact them by phone for help. In addition, the FCA monitors the funeral industry. They keep an eye on upcoming legislation that would affect consumers and they will assist you [link to read more…]

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Planning Ahead: picking a guidebook

Sunday, April 22nd – It’s officially the start of rolling up our sleeves to make and record our decisions.  We don’t have to start from scratch, though, since there are, oh, about 7,000 planning guides out there to choose from.  Today our job is to pick one out and get it in hand as soon as possible so we can keep moving along.  I think of planning guides as being like baby books – they come in many different styles and approaches.  Also – just like baby books, once you choose one, you still have to fill it out, which is not always easy.  But that’s what we’re doing together – no apologies will be necessary to your survivors-to-be.  Plus, filling out this guide we’re choosing now won’t stretch out in time.  Memorial Day will be here soon and we’ll be done! First decision – do you want to use [link to read more…]

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Planning Ahead: introduction

We’re all just trying to get the laundry done, as my friend, Betsy, says. We know it’s important to plan ahead for things related to dying, death, funerals and wills, both for ourselves, our parents and others we have responsibility for.  But so many, many things of all sorts get in our way! We’ll change that – by Memorial Day!   We’re picking Memorial Day as the timeline for this process because the first big tip the experts tell us is to STRUCTURE IT IN.   That is, by linking taking action to a specific date, it’s much more likely to happen.  It’s crucial to do this planning for ourselves and others once, certainly.  What we are doing right now is getting our plans in place by using Memorial Day as a deadline.  Then, once your plan is made keep reviewing the plan on a “structured in” basis – by revisiting your [link to read more…]

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