Death is Something We Must All Prepare For..
Mary and I set up an appointment to visit a funeral home this morning. We are not sick. Statistically, we have another 15-20 years left to live. We are preparing to die. This is not a real popular thing to do, but about a third of the people in our age group have done some planning for the inevitable. This visit was much more relaxed than the last time we went to visit the funeral home after a family member died. We were there to pick out a casket and arrange the funeral.
We talked about our different ideas about funerals in the car on the way to the meeting. We were there to take a tour. We were pretty relaxed and ready to gather information. I could not help but notice the different frame of mind that we were both in. Mary said it was the first time she did not have an eerie feeling. She did not feel sad or feel like crying. She was more accepting of the idea of planning a funeral. She was more at peace.
We got in the car with the “funeral counselor” to tour the cemetery. We walked through the mausoleum and the chapels and drove around the grounds. We asked a lot of questions as we went. We asked about ceremonies, markers, cremation, religious aspects of the funeral plan, availability of space, cost differences of lots, and history of the cemetery.
Then we sat down with the counselor and he gave us a booklet to help with the planning process. He gave us a price sheet to take home with us. I understand that we have a menu of services to pick from with associated prices to choose from. In some ways, it reminded us of talking with a realtor. Come to think of it, you are picking out a piece of real estate that you might use for a long time.
We also talked a bit more about the process of dying. We threw around some more “what if” scenarios like organ donation, cremation without a burial, hospice, deciding to move or change your mind, and viewing the body without embalming.
We still have a lot of talking to do. On the way home, we had some more friendly discussions about our differences. I like the idea of planning ahead. I don’t feel any pressure right now to make a decision. This is one more step in organizing the details of planning to die.