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The story below illustrates the benefits of preplanning your funeral. Also known as an “advance funeral plan”, “preneed”, or a “preplanned funeral”, it is one of the few things in life where you can pay today’s prices for a product and service you may not need for many years down the road, thus saving you money.
We buried my dad last week. My dad’s funeral would have been just a little more $8,000 not counting the luncheon or cemetery space. However, thanks to his pre-need funeral plan that he prepared 18 years ago at the funeral home, we got it for $5,000 and some change. Saving money wasn’t necessarily what motivated him to make the plan in advance. But, let me tell you, my mom was pretty pleased to know she didn't have to write that check.
Now, I should clarify something here. My mom is more than okay financially. Paying, even the full $8,000, for the funeral would not have been a financial issue. It was an emotional thing. She knew the death of my dad was going to change her life. She just didn’t know how it would change. So, everything, every action and especially spending money, increased her anxiety. We didn’t need that. Thank you, dad, for taking care of the plan and its cost well before it was needed.
What motivated my father to pre-plan was the fact we are a blended family. It’s not the we don’t all get along, we do (most of the time). But, we don’t all have the same taste. My sister, his oldest daughter, likes the earth tones. Our mom, his wife, on the other hand, likes the jewel tones. My dad picked a black casket and even said he wanted to be buried in his navy suit. Seems like small stuff, but it probably saved us all some angst. There was no fuss, no brown suit and no hurt feelings.
If my dad would have asked us 18 years ago if he should pre-plan and pre-pay for his funeral, I feel certain all five of us would have said, “Don’t worry about that. We can take care of it when we have to.” I am so grateful that he did not ask and that he did not think just about the money portion of an advance funeral plan. Dad, thank you for being smarter than us and knowing that we would need your emotional support even in death.
Wow, it’s hard to believe we are twenty years into the new millennium. Twenty years ago, as we moved from 1999 to 2000 people were stock piling all manner of survival goods. There was widespread panic over what would happen as the clock ticked down to the new year. It was called the Y2k glitch. We worried. Would computers fail to read the 00 correctly? Would the entire power grid shut down?
As midnight approached, we all wondered and watched. Thankfully the lights stayed on and life continued to move forward. Leading up to the year 2000, books were written that predicted we would be obsessed with home security, we would have watches that provided health information, and we would watch movies at home instead of going to the theatre. It all seemed far-fetched then, but now in 2020 it’s our reality.
So, what about this year? This gift of a new year. What will it bring? For sure there will be challenges and triumphs, sadness and happiness, and opportunities. We will take some of those opportunities and act on them and let others go. It’s all about choice.
Will you sit in the chair and watch TV or will you go for a walk and smell the roses? Will you eat the carrot or the chips? Will you speak to the person at the grocery checkout or ignore them? Will you vote or stay home and complain? Will you help or hinder? Will you smile or frown? Will you be kind or be a bully? So many choices.
Every choice we make has the power to change our lives. We make our year.
“Your life changes the moment you make a new, congruent, and committed decision.” —Tony Robbins