A Gift Idea For Your Loved Ones
By Mary Miller, Certified Pre-Planning Specialist, Peterson/Kraemer Funeral Home
What were some of the most memorable gifts you’ve ever received? What is it that made them stand out for you? More than likely, it was a combination of factors…perhaps the way they were presented to you, the “surprise” element, maybe even the monetary value of the gifts. More than likely, however, the gifts that have meant the most to you are those that reflect the love between the giver and the receiver of the gift; those that clearly show that there was genuine thoughtfulness behind the reason for the gift.
Have you ever thought that pre-planning your funeral could be considered a “gift”? Pre-planning your funeral, although it cannot be “wrapped” or packaged like a traditional gift, is one that is truly a reflection of your care and concern for your loved ones. The multitude of decisions that need to be made when someone dies can be overwhelming, especially considering the emotional pain and stress that family members are under. When you openly share your thoughts and take the time to pre-arrange your funeral, the pressure and burden of planning at the time of need is greatly diminished and allows your loved ones the time to grieve. It also affords you the time to carefully explore and discuss all your options with those you care about and select those that are the most meaningful to you and your family. What an amazing gift to leave your loved ones.
The holiday season is a time when families gather together who may not have the opportunity to see each other frequently throughout the year. It is a time when old times are recalled, stories are shared and new memories are made. We are certainly not suggesting that you use this time to “talk about death”, but rather to relish the moments with your loved ones, pay attention to the stories that are told, notice the things that matter and think about the clues that are given about what things would contribute to a meaningful tribute to their lives. Most importantly, savor the gift of time with your loved ones. If the opportunity should present itself to have the discussion about specific funeral or end of life wishes, take advantage of it and turn that conversation into the gift of pre-planning. Although it is a gift whose true value may not be realized until many years later, it is nonetheless, one of the greatest gifts we can give.