Planning a funeral can be a heart-wrenching task for family members who have to balance wanting only the best for their loved one with legitimate financial concerns. You can help your family at this difficult time by letting them know in writing what would be important to you as they plan your memorial.
Things you want them to know
Even though it may be hard to thinking about dying, it may be surprisingly easy to think of things you would like to say to those who are left behind. Whether or not you have mentioned your loved ones in your will, you can also leave a personal message for those who are important to you.
• Tell them that you love them
• Tell them you are sorry
• Tell them you forgive them
• Tell them how they blessed or benefited your life
Things you would like them to do
You cannot control what other people think or feel, but you can make requests of them to help them adjust to your passing. You can also make requests or provide information to help them carry out your final wishes.
• Ask them to remember happy times with you, not the days when you were sick
• Ask them to respect your wishes, even if they don’t agree
• Ask them to get help or counseling if they need it
• Ask them to enjoy life and be at peace with each other
• Ask them to let important people in your life know when your life is over. Provide a list of names and addresses if possible.
Your final rest
Many people chose to make their own funeral and burial arrangements to save their families from the burden of making these decisions. If you have done this, make sure the details are all together in an easy-to-find location, and make sure your family knows where to look for this information. If you have not made your own plans, let your family know your preferences:
• Let your family know whether you prefer to be buried or cremated. This is one of the most basic decisions that must be made and it is also one of the most personal. Burial requires the purchase of a coffin and a plot in a cemetery. Cremation means burning the body so that only ashes remain.