British statesmen and philosopher Francis Bacon once said, “It is natural to die as to be born.” We all know death is a normal, inescapable element of the human experience. So why is it so hard for many to face? Some have a lot of fear, anxiety, and questions when it comes to thinking about the end of their life. This can cause them to put off making important decisions and putting arrangements in place for when that moment comes. What they may not realize is that by avoiding the issue and not attending to the details, they might actually be adding to their own anxiety and feelings of uncertainty.
At Cypress Lawn Funeral Home & Memorial Park, we have seen many of our Bay Area neighbors take control of their future by putting end-of-life plans in place, including the arrangement of their own funeral, burial, or cremation. Some have even used the word “empowered” to describe how they feel after putting all of their needs and wishes into writing.
So, why do they feel this way?
1.) They are making their wishes about their burial, cremation, or service clear to all.
Some people have very distinct opinions on how they want to be laid to rest. Because of religious or cultural views, they may have a strong desire to be buried traditionally. Some faiths require that the person not be embalmed, which greatly impacts the arrangements. Others prefer cremation, whether because they want their ashes to be scattered in a meaningful location, they want their loved ones to be able to keep their remains with them always, or any number of other reasons. This is your moment to say what you want and need in your final disposition. And when you plan with Cypress Lawn, you will have the peace of mind knowing your wishes will be followed.
2.) They are removing a huge burden from their family’s shoulders.
If you’ve never had to plan a funeral before for someone you love, you can at least imagine what a difficult task this is. There are so many emotions involved, and when you add family dynamics to the mix, it can become even more complicated. We have heard of funeral arrangements having to go to official mediation or even court because family members cannot decide on what their loved one would have wanted. You can eliminate this possibility for your family by planning ahead.
When you preplan a reception, you can also make sure your family and friends are offered the comfort of refreshments – and your loved ones won’t have to worry about booking a restaurant for a large group or hosting something in their home.
If you choose to pre-pay, you will also make sure they won’t have to face any financial pressure during their time of grief. Your family will be so relieved you’ve thought of everything.
3.) Tell your own story. The way you see it.
Your funeral or memorial service, in some ways, will be your final earthly appearance. What impression do you want to leave? What stories do you want to share? What words, songs, or sights do you want to linger in the hearts of your loved ones? When you come to Cypress Lawn, our experienced team of memorial counselors can help you create a service, visitation, or reception that paints a picture of the life you’ve lived and the legacy you’ve built. Did you and your significant other have a special song? Play it during the reception. Have a favorite passage you always read to your children when they were little? How much would it mean to them to hear it read during the service? You can see how creative your farewell can be when you have the time to think about what you want to say with our many personalization options.
One more caveat – we have especially seen how empowering preplanning can be for those who are terminally ill. With so much in their life – from medical treatments, to side effects, to uncertainty over how much time is left – outside of their control, making prearrangements can bring comfort and a sense of power back to their life.
If you’re ready to get started on your prearrangements, we hope you will contact a member of our expert team today. We can answer any questions you might have.