Funerals are one of those things that we tend to not talk about until it’s absolutely necessary. That means, of course, that by the time it’s absolutely necessary to talk about YOUR funeral, you probably won’t be part of the conversation.
Chances are, you’ve experienced firsthand—or at least witnessed—the raw, heartbroken urgency of “making arrangements” in the very small window between a loved one’s passing and the time it’s necessary to lay them to rest. We want to honor the person we’ve lost, to create a space where memories can be shared openly and goodbyes can be said meaningfully…but it can be challenging to even sort out the logistics, let alone focus on the personal touches.
We spend months—or even years—planning a wedding, but funerals are often pulled together in just a few days, and the stress of doing things that way doesn’t leave much time to actually mourn.
Have you ever noticed how common it is for people to not cry at the funeral of a family member or close friend, but to then break down days, weeks, or even months later? This phenomenon of delayed grief is usually due, at least in part, to the immense pressure of organizing—and paying for—a major event when time is short and emotions are high.
So how can we break this cycle? Well, for starters, we can start talking about our own funerals. That might sound morbid, but it can actually be really empowering to take a more active role in preparing for the end of your life.
Choosing and communicating how you want to be remembered means that when the time comes, the people you love won’t have to wonder if they’re celebrating your life in the way you would have wanted. In addition to removing that burden from the shoulders of your family and friends, the process of planning can also bring you a lot of peace. Taking ownership of death may allow for you to live life a little more lightly.
Here are just a few ways you may ensure your funeral reflects your personality and your story.
• Make a playlist of songs that you’d like to include in your funeral service. They don’t have to be sad songs…if you’re known for your sense of humor in life, there’s no reason for that to change in your absence.
• Arrange for your favorite foods to be served if there’s a reception after your service. Maybe you ask everyone to bring their signature dish—you know, the ones that always fill the table at holidays and family gatherings—or maybe you have the event catered by a restaurant where you and yours have enjoyed great meals and made happy memories.
• Ask your family to bring small items that were meaningful to you—books, jewelry, even kitchen utensils—to your memorial service and invite guests to take them as keepsakes. Things don’t have to be valuable to mean the world to someone when they’re missing you.
In addition to the small touches that make funerals special, of course, there’s the less warm and fuzzy matter of how much they cost.
According to a parting.com article published at the beginning of 2018, Americans pay an average of $8,000-10,000 for a traditional funeral service and burial. Cremation and other alternatives to a standard burial can be less expensive, but one of the best ways to bring the cost down is to simply plan ahead.
It may sound irreverent to think about “shopping around” for a funeral, but think about it…you rarely get the best deal on anything when you need it right away. Your family might also feel obligated to choose the most expensive options out of respect for you, but if you’ve already communicated that you actually prefer something simpler, it can take that weight off their hearts.
Final Expense Insurance
Another important way you may protect your loved ones is by considering final expense life insurance. The policies that Final Wishes Covered℠ offers through Oxford Life Insurance Company* are specifically designed to help cover end-of-life expenses, whether that means purchasing a casket and headstone or helping to pay off outstanding medical bills and other debts left behind.
When you’re ready to take the next step, visit us for a fast, free, personalized online quote or give our agents a call at 888-432-7066. We’re here to help you find a final expense life insurance policy that may fit your needs, improve your legacy, and provide peace of mind for you and your loved ones.
* Please refer to policy numbers: ICC10-OL400; ICC13SPFE100 and supporting documentation. Not available in all states.