I Planned My Own Funeral

                           (photo courtesy of  gualberto107/freedigitalphotos.net)

I guess I really am a total organizer or control freak, not sure which one, but I planned my own funeral. I actually planned my funeral at age 40 -I am now 54.  At age 40, I had 3 friends die of cancer and I was feeling very vulnerable.  At age 40 I had 2 young children, a daughter in college,  3 cats, 2 fish tanks and a husband.  At age 40, I started to think, what if I am next. 

You have to understand, I have some good genes that have been passed down.  My father is 95 and my mother is 89.  They still live independently, still go volunteer at a facility that helps clothe the homeless, still walk a couple of miles at 5:30 in the morning, still work outside in the yard, still go play golf, still play bridge with friends and still love to read.  I have 6 brothers and sisters and so far we are all very healthy with the normal scares and hiccups but all doing well.  So, if gene pool accounts for anything, I am in the right swimming pool!  So, why the need to plan my funeral? 
At age 40 I had been married 15 years to the same man I am married to now 14 years later.  I knew then what I know now; he would become totally overwhelmed at making decisions about my funeral should something happen to me.  The whole process would devastate him and leave him spent.  He would second guess and worry that he was not doing the right thing by me and he would certainly make it a bigger deal than I would want, so I did him a favor and took all the questions out of the equation.  I put my funeral wishes all in black in white…….leaving nothing for him to have to ponder or worry over. 

Many people do not like to talk about the end of life but the fact of the matter is…….it is one of life’s inevitables – death and taxes.  I personally think it is a gift you can give to those you leave behind;  have your affairs in order and make your wishes known leaving no room for guilt, questions and unknowns.  

Let me end this by saying, I plan on living many more happy, healthy, fun-filled, fantastic years, but in the event of my untimely demise, my funeral plans are in the important papers box in my office.  Now, I am off to go do some serious living!

0 thoughts on “I Planned My Own Funeral”

  1. wow! I agree with you actually, it's a loving and kind thing to do I think. I've never had to plan the funeral of anyone, but I could imagine it would be a very hard thing to do. I don't know if it helps with the grieving process or not having to plan it, but it feels that it would be easier knowing what your loved one wanted and having it all organised ahead of time even better. I have to say, I thought I was organised, but you certainly beat me on that front! As you say, it's difficult for us to face our own mortality, but it happens to all of us at some point, so I take my hat off to you for facing it and dealing with your own mortality in such a positive (and organised!) way.

  2. I have one friend who has her dress in a dressbag clearly marked in her closet, for the same reasons. I probably should do the same thing. I have talked about donation with my fairly new husband and my son. Now that we live in a new location, guess I'm going to have to re-think all this. I trusted my old pastor to get my husband through it; right now I don't have that level of support.

  3. Paula, I started writing. I wrote down about how long I wanted the service to be, how I wanted to be buried (cremated for me), what I wanted the service to consist of; songs I want played or sung, the Gospel shared, and who would be good choices to conduct the service. I also wrote a letter to my husband, boys and daughter to be given to them. My husband and I have both signed Health Directives that make decisions about our health should be be incapable. It all sounds morbid but it does leave a peaceful feeling once it is all done. Best of luck as you walk through the process.

  4. Jeanne, I do not have to pick out anything to wear since I will be cremated. Organ donation is something that they know I want done and it is actually something they put on our North Carolina Driver's Licenses. I feel your pain about a pastor helping you through. We left one behind in another city and our wonderful pastor here has resigned and is dealing with his own health issues. Praying you find the right people.

  5. Great post!

    I've also planned my own and everyone knows about it. I told them that if they don't carry out my wishes, I will haunt them. LOL.

    I read a great book years ago called Grave Matters, which takes you through various burial options, and discovered that mine will be a green burial, which are up and coming in the US now, and it's about time! It's a wonderful book.


  6. I have serious thought about this from the view point that aI ant ti done right and I don't trust anyone to have as meaningful a celebration as I would like.. I mean this is an important event in a person's life and it should be done with great care…the family will be devastated and so, who better to plan than moi… I agree totally. Still haven't done it, but since today is my birthday….maybe soon. 🙂

  7. Penny, that is hilarious. I had not thought about the threat of haunting! My boys have made it clear they do not want to house my ashes in their home……that must be what they are afraid of….me continuing to nag them 🙂 Thanks for the book suggestion. I will have to look into that. Thanks for stopping by!

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