5 Comments

Thank you for Documenting your Burial Wishes

brilliant mindThe death of my father has been easier to manage because he had done so much advance preparation.

My parents worked to update their estate and financial plans in 2002. Most of you have been reading about my journey to pull together the information I have needed to assist them which was the reason I launched MemoryBanc almost two years ago. A Durable Power of Attorney has its limits and there are several financial institutions that won’t accept it. Helping someone requires more information than traditional estate and financial planning provides.

In 2009, my Dad went the extra mile and wrote up his wishes – funeral, casket choice, songs, what we should bury him in … as well as several varieties of his obituary! He gave me a copy and it was sitting in my safe … until we needed it.

My Dad was a decorated military veteran and served for 35 years. He then left to a civilian career and consulted on environmental and engineering issues around the globe. He even served with the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) in Iraq. We still have some road to travel to finalize all the details (thanks to my brother for stepping in – they all aren’t that trivial) and thankfully, many of his colleagues are helping us manage this process who know more about his career and the military process for burial than we really do.

My Mom has been surprised by all the work my Dad did in advance. What a gift he left.

I appreciate what he did so we can do some simple task management without having to really ponder which option to choose. I continue to be impressed by the brilliant mind of my Dad the engineer. Blessed. 

Resources:

Documenting all of your personal details with the MemoryBanc Register

A past colleague wrote this book which can help you through the process of planning: The Ultimate To-Do List When Your Loved One Dies

5 comments on “Thank you for Documenting your Burial Wishes

  1. I’m very glad that you dad was able to do that for you, Kay. Mama had always said to me that she wanted a simple funeral (“I don’t want people up there talking about how great I was” was a familiar refrain from her) and that she wanted the same type of casket we chose for Daddy (she was in shock when she and I went to the funeral home to make arrangements for him, so I found out later that although I was running everything by her and getting her agreement, she had no actual memory of it). I wrote her obituary and funeral service arrangements in 2008 after some serious heart issues developed, so when it came time to arrange everything, all I had to do was update the obituary with date of death details, thanks, and visitation and funeral information.

    A month before Mama died, she was insistent that we go to the funeral home (she’d make burial arrangements with them a few months after Daddy died) to make sure everything was set. It was a sudden burst of energy and need for her, so we went and made sure everything was in place. Mama settled down after we got to the funeral home and I’m not sure how much she was able to comprehend, but it gave me a chance to ask about out hospice (Mama wasn’t in hospice yet, but I knew that was coming) and the funeral home arrangements would work after Mama died.

    As we were leaving, with Mama quiet and reassured, the lady who talked with us said her mother-in-law had done the same thing, and once she knew everything was settled, she died a month later.

    Mama died almost a month to the day after our visit to the funeral home.

    • What a lovely note! Thank you. My Mom has marveled that my Dad made these plans. I will be mindful to listen to her to see if she expresses interest in getting her wishes together. I’m so NOT ready to face that right now so hope she doesn’t bring it up for a while!

  2. My Dad did the same and it was a GIFT! I was able to order the exact casket he wanted on line and save $600 which paid for the proper “Irish wake” that he also wanted. I have written my obit as well and hope that my daughter will think of it as a gift. Thinking of you and your family. This is all informative, emotional and fascinating to read…Thank you!

  3. […] month of his life, my Dad wrote down on a scrap of paper “No Funeral”. A decade prior, he had updated his documented burial wishes, which was such a gift to us. These were the plans he wrote before he got dementia, and were […]

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