A few weeks ago, my office had the opportunity to become acquainted with a new family. The Patriarch of the family had recently been placed in Hospice care and the mom and granddaughter happened upon our info booth. Both were aware of the pending decisions and difficulties the family faced and seemed genuinely interested in continuing the conversation in the near future. The sad reality, though, was the continuing conversation never ensued and we were greeted one evening with a series of phone calls that Dad had passed.
Over the next few hours rushed paperwork was completed, nerves were frazzled, and emotions were beyond strained for the family. So, what happened? Why did things end up as they did, and the family suffer additional stress and anxiety that could have been avoided?
The answer is simple: They never followed through with a conversation…
And this is what I’d like us to talk about for a few minutes. I believe you’ll be hard pressed to ever find a funeral director and staff, or owner, who is more empathetic to a family’s needs at the time of death than you’ll find in me and my staff at Memorial Funeral Services. However, the importance of having a 10–15-minute conversation about your desired arrangements when you or a loved one is facing Hospice care and imminent death cannot be overstated.
And may I speak to the gentlemen in the room? Guys, it’s time for you to “man-up” and have this conversation with your loved ones. I could write volumes about spouses and families who have been left with a hot mess because the man of the house would not talk about their impending death and what to do with their “stuff” when they’re gone.
You are not going to “take them to their grave sooner” by having this conversation. You’re not trying to “bury them before their time” when you make plans for someone you know is leaving this place soon. No one has ever passed from this life sooner than they would have otherwise because they had a conversation about what services they would or would NOT like when they do leave.
None of us will leave here without the law required assistance of someone’s mortuary and/or cemetery. Those plans are as inevitable as the very next breath you take. Take a few minutes right now if you’ve never done so and jot down some notes, have a short conversation, and then call your local mortuary and get things in place. Your family left behind will be eternally grateful.