I am facing a terminal illness and am trying to plan my funeral. As you might guess, this is a very difficult topic for my family. I want to make things easier for them, rather than have them make decisions while they are grieving. What I have found is that funerals can be very expensive. Do you have advice on keeping the expense under control?
The prospect of facing one’s own mortality can be extremely tough. Compound that with loved ones who haven’t come to grips with losing you and it becomes even tougher. The fact is – we’re all going to die one day. We don’t want to, but it’s going to happen.
Seriously though, only about 20% of Americans talk with loved ones about their funerals. More people should have these conversations. Makes me wonder why people would leave that open to someone else’s desires. You are 100% correct that funerals can be very expensive. The sky is the limit on what you can spend.
There are also many ways to control costs. There are three general considerations for a funeral; preparing the body, the ceremony and interment. There are a range of options available. Are you thinking embalming, cremation or a “green” burial that skips all the chemicals and cost? Do you want a viewing, printed stationary, music and the like? Or, would a graveside service be more your style? Finally, what to do with your remains? You can be buried in the ground, entombed in a mausoleum, have your ashes scattered in a favorite place. Each of these things determines the cost.
My best advice – determine how you want your funeral handled. Call around and check prices. There can be a huge difference between funeral homes. Find a non-profit funeral home if you can. Have that heart to heart conversation with your loved ones charged with carrying out your final wishes. Lastly, write it down. They may forget things when they are grieving.
Hugs to you for doing this for your family.
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