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. Continue reading Death Doulas & Caring for the Dying
Death is coming. It’s easier to not think about it at all, but when the dreaded diagnosis or the irreversible decline from age comes it’s hard to avoid.
Still, we can keep busy in a number of ways bypass thinking deeply about death. There are always surgeries, procedures, medications, and other medical interventions that offer hope. Sometimes these help, or at least delay death. But ultimately it is a false hope. Death inevitably comes. When we spend all our time and effort looking for the perfect cure, death seems to hit even harder.
We can also get sidetracked by an agenda or list of tasks. Plan the funeral, finalize the will, keep the lawn mowed, donate stuff, get the medical bills paid, check off items on a whirlwind bucket list. Adding more and more tasks is a good way to avoid thinking about the fact that you and your loved ones are going to die.
But maybe that isn’t you. Perhaps you realize that death is coming, and you want to address it and face it head on, with clear eyes and full hearts. You recognize that death is a natural part of life, and you want to die well. You want to take care of your family, leave behind a meaningful legacy, and have your own or your loved one’s final wishes fulfilled in an honorable way.
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.
Funeral planning is a smart idea. Often, people are completely overwhelmed when faced with the death of a loved one. What ends up happening is that they simply take the advice of the funeral home. Sometimes, that works perfectly fine for everyone.
But what if there were ways to make the service more meaningful and personal? What if there were options that could save the estate thousands of dollars? It pays – both financially and emotionally – to educate yourself and to come prepared.
If you’re anything like me and most other humanoids living in this digital age, you probably have just under a billion website login username and password combinations. Somehow you keep it all together (thank the Lord for password recovery emails). But what happens to all those passwords when you die? Continue reading What Happens to Your Passwords When You Die?
If you are the spouse or executor of the estate of a person who has passed away, there are many documents you will need to work through. What papers do you actually need?
Most will be financial statements, insurance and membership papers, and legal papers that already exist. These ones you will need to find. Others you will need to create.
Note that in the digital age, some of these affairs can be arranged completely online using digital documents and accounts. Even so, there will still be many copies and forms you will physically need to handle. Here is the list of papers you need when someone dies. Continue reading What papers do you need when someone dies?
Once you or your loved one has decided on cremation as the best option for final disposition, the next steps are to arrange for the actual cremation to take place. Here is a step-by-step guide for you to plan or arrange a cremation with simplicity, affordability, and peace of mind. Continue reading How do I arrange a cremation?
Choosing a cemetery… the choice of a cemetery for burial is an important factor in your funeral arrangements. It is a good idea to compare a few cemeteries if possible, visit them to take a look around, and ask questions about the costs and options.