Monday, April 7, 2014

If we live long enough

If we live long enough…

I am not a writer or blogger but I want to share what I have learned along my journey in hopes to help one person on their journey.

If we live long enough we will all experience the loss of a spouse. (If you’re married)

This is not something you can plan for emotional, even when you think you can. Trust me you can’t. I am a planner deluxe and I thought I had prepared my self in every way possible. We had talked about all the wonderful times, revisited photos and memories, talked about fears for the future.. we even talked about the dreaded funeral.

It’s funny the things that you talk about and laugh about when your loved one knows that they are dying. My man knew he was going to heaven and that his soul would leave his body but nevertheless he did not want to cremated. He was worried about burning his beloved mustache. If you knew him you would smile, nod your head and say “ I bet that’s right”.

Funerals are expensive and they DON’T let you pay it out.When I say expensive what does that mean? The first quote I got for the cheapest burial plan available at a Dignity Funeral home was $12,500.00. That's was no flowers on the casket, no special lining and I mean it was the bottom of the barrel casket just up from a cardboard box. Yes , I said cardboard box.Even when you know your spouse would not want you to spend one penny more than needed on their burial, putting them in a cardboard box would be horrible.

So what do you do when you don’t have Twelve THOUSAND dollars to bury someone because you spent your money keeping them alive or your just plain don’t have it?
You call around to all the funeral homes, start with the family owned because they still have a heart and don’t have to pay franchise fees etc. Call a funeral home that is across the tracks ...This saved me about $7,000.00.

I know you don’t want to prepay for your funeral it’s hard to think about and morbid  but please do this for your spouse…. You maybe the one to go first and this will make things so much easier on your widow/widower. At least start a savings account that isfor that purpose. Again this is not about you but the one you love that will be left behind to live.

The next think I would suggest in talk about what you would like your funeral to look like should that happen. If you can’t talk about put it in a word doc on your computer. Tell your spouse it is there, or make a love folder and put that in your folder along with a list of password, wills etc.

My sweetie wrote a list of songs he would like to be played,list of people he would like to speak, what kind of flowers he wanted (Which was none). I found this file along with his obituary that he had written. He did not tell me about it and I just happened on it just in the nick of time (A God thing) He even told me when to play the songs. Like he wanted "Back in the saddle again" to be played as we left the service. He told me what he wanted to wear and to be SURE to wax his mustache .Now this file was not dated after he was put on hospice but it was dated years ago after his mother passed away.He had planned for a rainy day and it really helped me.

If you think about this ahead of time it will be a reflection of who you, or who they were, not a canned service with photos of your loved ones. People who leave the service will feel blessed. They will feel like they just had a cup of coffee with your loved one.

I don’t know maybe you like sad, boring funerals but I did not want that. I wanted people to be reminded of who my man was. To remember his silly lists of to do’s always written on a yellow legal note pad. (We used those for guest to sign in). I wanted them to remember how he loved being a cowboy. (We had his boots, hat and saddle there) How he was not just a dress up cowboy he was a rancher and that was not just how he dressed that is how he lived.(We had a rider less horse with his boots in the stirrups backwards). We talked about many of the details late at night when we could not sleep…There were always tears but much laughter in silly ideas that we would NEVER use but still the same it was a hard but sweet time.

If you live long enough you too will plan a funeral, so think about it now. How can you make it easier on your spouse should you be the first to go? It’s a gift you can give your family to take a minute and make some notes to make this one step a little easier on them.

This one step will be a huge gift to them.

1 comment:

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