Wednesday, April 13, 2011

WFMW: Plan your Funeral

In memory of Juanita Arnold Albertson VanGorken Winegar

The commercial says "Life comes at you fast!"

It does!

My mother and I talked in the car after my grandmother's recent funeral and she said,"When it comes to my funeral, just do whatever comforts you. I'll be gone!"

When my mother dies, I will feel profound grief and loss. There will be many details of funerals, arrangements, wills, etc. I gently encouraged my mother to go ahead ... now and write down the details of her funeral service. What a great blessing this will be when I can just pull out her notes and pass them on to the funeral home and church staff. That will be one detail taken care of.

Some of you may be thinking, as I do, sometimes, that I have plenty of time ahead for that. As David reminds us, we don't know how long we have and there are many who die unexpectedly.

Psalm 39
4 “Show me, LORD, my life’s end
   and the number of my days;
   let me know how fleeting my life is.
5 You have made my days a mere handbreadth;
   the span of my years is as nothing before you.
Everyone is but a breath,
   even those who seem secure.[b]

Even those of us who are younger would do well to jot down a few notes and bless our loved ones with some thought on their behalf. Even if you just take a few minutes to jot down your wishes and email them to a few family members or close friends, you will have helped.

Here are some great links to help you get started:

Funeral Planning Checklist

This Wall Street Journal article helps outline the important documents you need to have in order ... TODAY. (A Living Well, Healthcare Proxy, and Health-Care Power of Attorney).

This Mayo Clinic page guides you through those documents and why you need them. Very helpful!

Neptune Society : Helps provide reasonable cremation services around the country.

And if you want to get an interesting picture of the problem around the world, here is an article from USAToday about the burial crowding issue in China.

Bless your family today with thinking ahead!


  1. I could not agree with you more! My grandma came home (to my house) on hospice. My grandpa had the foresight to get DNR, living will, power of attorney, etc. in place a LONG time ago. He died 11 years ago and this was done before he died. I can't say enough about how it helped us when she was in the hospital. However she had refused to plan the funeral and we have been trying to take care of that now so we don't have to when she dies.

  2. So glad that you were blessed with your grandparents forethought. I know it must be difficult taking care of your grandmother at home. Praying for peace and strength for you!

  3. My husband and I have already bought and paid for our 'plots,' but still have to work out plans for the actual funeral. We've made a few things very clear to the kids (I'm only 55, hope I have a few years left!) but just having the graves out of the way is good. We paid for them over time and have even seen where they will be. We sometimes joke that we have walked on our own graves! (It's not as morbid as it sounds, either!)

  4. Thanks for posting this. My mom is on hospice now. We have a DNR, living will and power of attorney done, but the one thing I'm having trouble bringing myself to do is contact the funeral home.

    My sister is coming in for the weekend. Maybe we can do it together.