This is one of those adulting things that people don’t talk about. But having had a previous spouse fall to illness, I learned in my 20s the value of having your final thoughts and wishes put down on paper. Now that I have a child, it becomes pretty critical to know (like any other day that you’re living) that they are safe & sound and taken care of.
Then, you think of your partner. When I pass away, should I be the first of us to go, I would hate for him to have to plan my final events and understand our financials and have to research and track down everything. What I want is to give him time to grieve and process so that he can be the strong shoulder for our child as well. Family should be focused on the family here on Earth. Not on where all the paperwork is.
So I started simply, I went on Amazon and got a Last Will & Testament Kit.
It takes you through assigning who would be the guardian of our children in the event that we were to both pass away and have a minor. It also makes the preparation of the “who gets what” very easy. Then you can start to outline any final plans and wishes for your property you may have, along with any stipulations – including alternates for assets, in the event the first person does not want the responsibility, or cannot take them over due to illness or death.
Then there’s the idea of funeral planning. I learned quickly that being in my mid-30s still means I’m young. Because right now it looks like I’m not old enough to pre-purchase a funeral plan. That said, it didn’t stop me from thinking about the planning involved. So I got to googling.
The folks at Everplan, helped me understand some of the terms of a funeral and all that went with it. For instance: A viewing (also called a wake) may be brief and take place immediately before the funeral service, or may last for up to three days before the service. A visitation can take place any time, before or after the funeral service or disposition, and can last for hours or days.
The site also offered the worksheet I’ve placed below this post for starting to think about what you’d like. I also started to think about what I would personally like outside of this. For instance, I’d like to write something to be read. I would like people to not wear black to my funeral. Things that I can plan now, to start to think about, an understand about what I want to be my final words on this Earth.
It’s been interesting to see what bubbles up in my heart as I go through all of these ideas. A surprising thing is that it’s not morose or sad to me, it’s merely me taking the work off of the shoulders of my family – hopefully helping them understand what I had to say in my final moments. My final last words.
- Choose one or multiple: I would like these to occur prior to my funeral service: A Viewing, A Wake, A Visitation
- Choose only one: Buried or Cremated
- IF BURIED: Choose Yes or No: I would like a funeral service
- IF BURIED: Choose Yes or No: I would like a graveside service at the cemetery family only
- IF CREMATED: Choose Yes or No: I would like a funeral service
- IF CREMATED: Choose Yes or No: I would like a graveside service at the crematory
- Yes or No I would like to have a gathering after my memorial service.
- Yes or No: I would like a reception or gathering after my funeral or memorial service.
- I would like my memorial service to be held at (give an alternate choice as well):________
- The person I would like to officiate my funeral or memorial service is (give an alternate choice as well):___________________________
- I would like the following pallbearers:___________________________
- I would like the following people to delivery eulogies:___________________________
- I would like the following people to deliver readings:___________________________
- I would like the following songs to be played:___________________________
- I would like people to honor my memory by donating to this charity:________________
- Please notify these organizations and invite them to my funeral service:_____________
- I want to be sure that the following people, who my family may not know, will be notified of my memorial service: _______________________________
Photo Credit: Banner Image