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When a family member dies or when a person is planning their own funeral in advance, one of the first questions that will be asked is, “Do you want burial or cremation?”. The burial or cremation question is a starting point for a number of choices that must be made. It’s a place to start. But it is absolutely not the entire story.
So, how do you decide?
Approximately 50 percent of people choose burial, so that means the other half choose to be cremated. The numbers vary vastly in different parts of the country, from small towns to big cities, from one faith base to another, from one family to another. The most important things to remember when you are the decision maker is let go of what you think burial is, let go of what you think cremation is because either can be just about anything you want or believe will provide the most comfort for your family. So, yes, cremation can include faith, gathering, visitation, a funeral and burial. And, yes, burial can include a celebration of life, music, and pictures in addition to visitation, faith, and funeral. Woo Hoo! Who knew you can have it your way!
Here are a few things to consider when deciding between cremation or burial. What is your family tradition? Do you want to continue with that tradition, or do you want to change things up? Do you and your family share a faith base? Where does your faith stand on the cremation or burial question? Where do you live? Does your family live near you? Will someone be around to tend or visit your burial place? Will your family be disappointed if there is no grave to visit? What is your budget? What will your family be able to do? Will they put together a video, sing a song, tell a story, host the gathering? What can they do and where will they appreciate help?
If the choice is to bury, a cemetery will need to be selected and then a location within that cemetery. The burial site provides a place for family members to visit and remember. They can bring flowers or flags to decorate the grave site during the course of the year. These are all actions that many families find help them with the grieving process.
If the choice is to cremate, then a final location for cremated remains will need to be selected. Sadly, this final and very important decision is often overlooked. There are many options. Cremated remains can be buried, placed in a niche, scattered, or retained by a family member. Careful consideration of those left with the ashes should be made before deciding on a final resting place for cremated remains.
It is a lot. Fortunately help is available. A funeral director or advance funeral planner can help, all you need to do is call the funeral home and arrange for an appointment. There is usually no cost for an arrangement appointment.
According to a National Funeral Directors Association survey, more than half (62.5%) of us expect to participate in making our own funeral arrangements. And yet, less than a quarter of us have actually acted on that impulse. Not really so surprising since making funeral arrangements can literally be the very last thing we do. We can put it off right up to the end!
So, when do you think you should just go ahead and get it done? How about when you are critically ill? Or, maybe before you go on that cruise? Does when you go into the nursing home seem too late? How about as you are preparing for retirement? Actually, sooner is better than later for several reasons.
First, there is no down side to having your arrangements in place. If something new comes along or you change your mind about what you want you can always make changes to your plan. If you move you just move your plan. Nothing is carved in stone.
Second, there are some real up-sides to getting your funeral plan written and on file at the funeral home. For one thing, you just never know. people do die unexpectedly. And then there is the money. Historically funerals, like almost everything, have gone up in price over the years. The funeral of today will likely almost double in cost in 10 years. Why are you waiting?
Prearranged funerals are often funded in a way that buffers or even eliminates the impact of rising prices. You buy at today’s prices and you are done. When you plan in advance you also have the benefit of being able to pay over a specified period of time (you choose). As you age your choices become more limited. When you make your arrangements while you are in reasonably good health the cost of your funeral can be paid in full should you die before you’ve completed your payment cycle. Again, sooner is better than later.
The early 60’s is a good time to visit your neighborhood funeral home and get your plan written and on file. This is when you will get the most out of the funding options. It is also when you are likely to have a good idea of what you will want in the way of services. At this age you are grounded and you are likely to still be earning income. Making payments for a bit will hardly be noticed. Then when you retire, and take that cruise, you can just enjoy. You’re all set to just enjoy the rest of what life has to offer.
Taps. There is nothing like the sound of those patriotic notes. It grabs your heart, it makes you cry. It honors the service and risk a man or woman took for our safety and the safety of our country.
Public law provides military burial benefits for all who served and were honorably discharged from any of the five branches of the U.S. Military. Your funeral director or advance funeral planner can explain all of the benefits you or your family members are eligible to receive. They will also access those benefits related to the funeral or burial on your behalf. Your funeral director can help you weave the remembrance of your loved one’s military service into the fabric of their full life experience.
Most who have served in any of the branches of our military, whether it be for a few years or as a career, will tell you the experience had a profound impact on their life. Even when the service period was brief and at a tender age and followed by many years of some other vocation, that service should be honored.
The funeral professionals at your local funeral home have the resources and know how to help you get the remembrance just right. In addition to the playing of taps and flag ceremony provided by public law, there are caskets, vaults, and urns that highlight each branch of the armed services to be considered. Photos and music can also be a part of the funeral gathering or ceremony and can add so much to the remembrance.
How much or how little your family wishes to focus on the military service of a loved one is a matter of personal choice. With the assistance of your funeral director, a military service can be planned that finds the perfect balance for your family.
September 12, 2018 | 0 Comments | Category: Veterans
September 10, 2018 | 0 Comments | Category: Honoring
15 POEMS AND QUOTES TO HONOR GRANDPARENTS THIS GRANDPARENTS DAY
Compiled by Jenny Goldade