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What is a death doula or end-of-life doula?

Applying the doula approach to end-of-life care

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.

Maybe you want all those things, but you just don’t know how to make it happen. Continue reading What is a death doula or end-of-life doula?

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5 Steps To Make Sure Your Funeral Plans Are Followed

Do these five things to make sure your final wishes get carried out

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. Continue reading 5 Steps To Make Sure Your Funeral Plans Are Followed

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How do I arrange a cremation?

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?

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Final Disposition Options: Cremation, Burial, and More

Burials, cremation, and more

Planning ahead and making your final arrangements in advance is a great idea. This will save your loved ones from tons of stress, and it will probably save them money as well. The first decision you’ll face in thinking about your funeral arrangements is the question of what to do with your body.

Here are all the mainstream final disposition options: Continue reading Final Disposition Options: Cremation, Burial, and More

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How To Start A Funeral Fund In 5 Easy Steps

How to start a funeral fund

Planning ahead for your funeral expenses is a great idea. There are several ways to do this, and one of the best and easiest is to start a funeral fund. Here’s how to start a funeral fund in 5 easy steps.

Continue reading How To Start A Funeral Fund In 5 Easy Steps

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9 Cremation Myths That Everyone Thinks Are True

9 Myths About Cremation

Cremation myths abound. With the surging popularity of cremation as a common option for final disposition (see #9, below), the myths about cremation are slowly being dispelled. Here are some of the most common ones. Continue reading 9 Cremation Myths That Everyone Thinks Are True

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Mailbag: Purchasing More Than One Urn

Purchasing Cremation Urns

From the reader mailbag, a question covering a variety of topics, including:

  1. Purchasing more than one urn (for each child in the family)
  2. Shipping memorial trees to Canada
  3. Planning ahead

Continue reading Mailbag: Purchasing More Than One Urn