Questions about death are a normal, healthy part of living well. While you may have questions about the physical, physiological, and psychological aspects of dying, those aren’t the questions you’ll find here. And while I’m sure you have questions about the afterlife, philosophy, and religion, we’re not trying to provide answers.
Instead, these questions are designed to help you think about your legacy and what it means to die well.
Below we’ve curated 30 or so open-ended questions to get you thinking about death and the meaning of your life.
Take your time and think about each one. Feel free to print them out and write your answers down. This practice can be for your own personal enrichment or as a way to start organizing your thoughts for your end-of-life planning.
I have been in the funeral industry for thirteen years and I’ve been selling pre-arrangement policies for much of that time.
Often families think that their loved one has taken care of everything, when in fact, nothing has been.
Perhaps their loved one just happened to see me on the street and waved. Later, they tell their spouse, “I saw Karen, the funeral director from ABC Funeral Home today!” Without a more detailed discussion, the spouse may get the impression that a meeting took place and the funeral arrangements were made when in fact there is no arrangement at all.
Because people can be hesitant to have the full, difficult conversations about death and funeral plans, this sort of misunderstanding happens more often then you might think. When the loved one dies, the family comes to the funeral home and discovers they have a lot of work to do.
This is the kind of surprise you do not
want. It might be a hard conversation to have, but it truly is a
Is a prepaid funeral plan right for you?Let me guide you through the ins and outs and help you decide the answer.
Christians should consider training and serving as death doulas.
“Death” is probably the last word you would expect to find paired with “doula.” And no, this isn’t some sort of spiritual metaphor; it’s an actual job in a young but rapidly growing field. Let me explain.
Inurnment is simply the placing of cremated remains into a container to store or bury them. Cremated remains or “ashes” are typically inurned in a plastic or cardboard container and given to the family. The family can then purchase a permanent cremation urn and transfer the remains into the new urn.
In this fairly typical scenario, inurnment happened twice. Both times the ashes were put into a container (first into the temporary urn, then into the permanent urn), the ashes were inurned.
That’s the simple, easy answer. But if you are like most people, this is the first time you’ve dealt with body disposition and you probably have many more questions about the process.
Quick take: The Death Positive movement encourages people to think and talk freely about death. Distinctives include a focus on family-centered funerals, hands-on participation in the body preparation and burial/cremation, “green” and natural burial options, more affordable burial and cremation choices, meaningful rituals and ceremony, and an acceptance of death and decay as part of the natural world
When you hear the word “funeral,” you probably get some sort of image of suits and ties, black dresses and veils, a stately church or chapel, a heavy casket. Words like grief, dreary, formal, morose, sad, depressing, cemetery, expensive.
Christianity gets death backwards. You see, our advanced civilization tells us constantly to look forward to a long life, healthy and sexy bodies, a bright future in a steadily advancing career followed by an early retirement filled with travel and leisure.
Yet at the same time, we have more depression, anxiety, and chemical dependence than ever before. We have wealth but not fulfillment, leisure but not contentment, Instagram-worthy lives but not peace.
In all this, no topic is taboo except, perhaps, one: Death.
Have you heard of “Death Doulas”? They, of course, prefer the term end-of-life doula, but the catchier term is the one that sticks in the mind and is what most people search for when first diving into this broad topic of death, dying well, and end-of-life care.
How do you ensure that your funeral plans are followed? This can include big decisions like whether to be buried or cremated, which funeral home to use, an eco-friendly natural burial or a big bold marble sarcophagus, services led by a pastor or a close family member.
Your wishes for your funeral can include smaller touches as well. Perhaps it is important to you that those who attend the service receive a “funeral favor” such as an engraved coin, a packet of forget-me-not seeds, or a bag of your favorite tea. Maybe you have a favorite hymn you would like sung, or a favorite poem you would like read.
These choices are important to you, and you can rest easier knowing that they are going to be respected. Here are five ways to make sure that your funeral arrangements are honored and carried out.