planning husband funeral

Why I Am Planning My Husband's Funeral While He is Still Alive

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Katie Allen

You know how the saying goes: The only two things that are guaranteed in life are death and taxes.  So why is it that we only plan for one of them?  When it comes to taxes we hire accountants, get advice from professionals, and spend the entire year trying to mitigate the damage come tax time.  Contrast that to the amount of time people spend talking about end of life care and funeral planning.  I bet you have had a discussion with your partner at least once in the last year about your taxes.  But have you ever had a conversation about what final arrangements you would like?  I am guessing the answer is no.

Taxes and funerals are not pleasant to talk about, but both in the end are inevitable.  Is it because we have a firm deadline to file our taxes that we are more willing to open up the discussion and actually deal with them? 

I feel like we sometimes lull ourselves into thinking we have all the time in the world to worry about final arrangements.  That there will be some secret warning sign to let us know when it's time to have "the talk".  Unfortunately life is not like that and there are times when very unexpected things can happen and you are faced with having to make many decisions during a very emotional period of time.  I bet my aunt thought she had more time when my uncle had a heart attack and passed away just a few months after my wedding.  I bet my grandma thought she had more time when my grandpa passed away suddenly in his sleep while on vacation in Florida.  And I bet that my friend thought she would have decades of time left with her husband before she lost him suddenly this summer.  We never know what the future holds for us.

It is not that we never think about what we would want for final arrangements, I am sure each of us ponders it a little every time we hear of a loved one passing away.  But it is not the type of thing we normally chat about around the dinner table or on a Friday night over a glass of wine.  However I do think that actually having a discussion around final arrangements is important.  It may not be the most comfortable or cheerful topic to bring up, but being prepared will help ease the burden at a difficult time.

When Arbor Memorial reached out to me to discuss planning Hubs’ funeral my first thought was do we really need to deal with this now?  But the more I thought about it the more it made sense for it to be something that we talk about sooner rather than later.  I have gone through the funeral planning process for loved ones when we knew it was going to be expected and also for loved ones who left us by surprise.  I have to say that when we were able to be more prepared ahead of time it did make the process much easier.  After discussing with Hubs we decided to go forward with planning his simulated funeral.  I am looking forward to meeting with the Arbor Memorial staff as they guide us through the steps of funeral planning.

I know that it's not necessarily going to be an easy conversation to have.  And anyone who knows me knows that I am a bit of a crier when I'm talking about emotional subjects.  However I don't want that to hold me back from having important conversations around what Hubs would want for final arrangements.  I want to know what his feelings are around what he would like to see for a final resting place and also to do some research into the options and cost of arrangements.  You might think that we would have discussed this sort of thing already given that Hubs’ dad passed away suddenly a year-and-a-half ago.  But at that time I think we were just so focused on the task of getting his dad's arrangements done and emotionally exhausted ourselves that it was not something we discussed.

There is no time like the present to tackle a subject that can be difficult to talk about.  In the long run it will pay off by helping to put our mind at ease for when we do eventually need to plan Hubs’ funeral.  The peace of mind of knowing what sort of arrangements he wants and what different options are out there will be worth it.  So this year we will not only be talking taxes but also talking about pre-planning funeral arrangements with Arbor Memorial while we both still can.

Read more at Katie's blog Little Miss Kate & Co.

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