Why Plan Ahead? – The Benefits of Pre-Planning Funeral Expenses
There are many benefits to pre-planning funeral expenses and arrangements, but there is none greater than the peace of mind you will receive knowing that all of your final wishes will be met, that everything is documented on paper in a signed contract and that your family will not have to worry about making decisions during their time of grief. This is the most common feeling people report after pre-planning their funeral expenses; a feeling of peace and comfort.
The benefits will go beyond your own peace of mind as well. Your family will have the direction they need to ensure that your wishes are met, taking out any guesswork for them. It can relieve them of the sense of second-guessing themselves, wondering what you would have wanted, and more. Having documents and instructions that clearly explain things can be extremely helpful in times of grief, as people often find it difficult to make big decisions when they are overcome with emotion.
Pre-planning your funeral expenses and arrangements can greatly help your family and yourself. If you’re looking for more information for planning ahead, contact us today to speak with an expert who can guide you through the process.
Planning for the future is a natural and important part of our everyday lives. We contribute to retirement plans, take out life insurance, and create wills. As your family matures, pre-planning your funeral becomes part of this important planning process. There is no charge for funeral planning ahead of time. You will receive a private, dedicated meeting with our staff. The funeral director will speak with you about your wishes and help you to develop a plan that meets your needs. We keep the information on file and, at the time of need, relay your selections to your family and estate representatives, relieving them of the anxiety involved with making rushed decisions.
In addition to pre-arrangement services, we offer guaranteed funeral costs through a pre-paid funeral plans where your payment is invested into a trust account. The deposited funds will accrue interest until the contract is fulfilled (when the services and supplies are delivered) or the contract is canceled. Our plan allows you the option to cancel, change, or transfer your arrangement at any time in the years ahead (please refer to your funeral service contract). Our pre-paid funeral plans program strictly adheres to the Funeral, Burial and Cremation Services Act, 2002. The Act ensures complete protection for your investment, yourself, and your family. We will be pleased to answer any questions you may have about your prepayment options and funeral planning.
Does Life Insurance Pay?
One of the most common questions asked by grieving family members after the death of a loved one is “Will life insurance help pay for a funeral?”
The short answer is “yes,” but there are definitely some things you have to know. First, a life insurance policy should certainly be able to play for the funeral, but the policy must explicitly say that the beneficiary should get the insurance payout upon death. If not, then one might have to pay out of pocket for the funeral until they get that check, which could take up to 8 weeks.
“People shouldn’t expect to use insurance money to pay for funerals because it’s tough to know when that claim is going to be paid,” said Garrett Jacobs, of Boca Raton Funeral Home and Cremation Service, and the co-owner of The Gardens of Boca Raton – Cemetery & Chapel.
“If you have a funeral that happens on a Friday and you want a service to happen on Monday or Tuesday,” said Jacobs, “the soonest you’ll be able to get hold of the insurance company is on Monday.”
Buy Space Ahead of Time
Some people get policies that pay within 48 hours, which helps paying for the funeral. Rather than beg, borrow and steal to get the funeral paid for while waiting for the insurance company to pay, some look ahead and pay ahead of time. By taking care if this now, paying $50, $75 or $100 per month for a burial space, rather than having to come up with a bulk payment all at once, you can help your family even when you’re not around anymore.
Young people really shouldn’t worry about doing this because they don’t know where they’re going to live decades from now, even though young people pass away all the time. You just don’t want to be buying space and selling space every time you move.
“When you become of age,” said Jacobs,”and you know where your children are living and you know where you want to retire, you make that decision that if something were to happen to you, you know where that space is going to be.”
Jacobs goes on to explain why it’s beneficial for other reasons, too. “You’re able to go into a place and pick it out, when you don’t have any health issues. You’ll figure out how you want to pay for it, then when the time comes, you have it paid for. It’s an asset of yours! You can give it to your family if you’re not going to use it, or resell it down the road.”
Families do have to give us the first right of refusal at The Gardens Memorial Park and Cemetery, but that’s something you’ll want to confirm wherever you buy your plot. “If they’re not comfortable after 30 days, they can always get their money back,” Jacobs explains. “After 30 days, they come to us and ask us if we’d like to buy the property back, then they can sell it on the open market, or sell to a friend or relative.” The Gardens will charge a small $50 transfer of deed title, but it’s relatively easy to do.
Additional Funeral Pre-Planning Benefits
There are many benefits to preplanning your funeral, but we specifically want to share some thoughts on how your family members will appreciate your forethought the most.
While no one wants to think about their own death, less make plans for what happens after they die, preplanning your funeral is actually a kindness and one last favor you can do for your family. It’s actually a very responsible act you can carry out while you’re living that will help those left behind, and further your legacy in their hearts.
From kindness to stress relief to money savings, there are several reasons you should preplan your funeral.
Keep Your Family From Going Through What You’ve Gone Through
It’s highly likely you will have dealt with the loss of loved ones and family members before your children have, and if those people didn’t preplan their funerals, then you know how difficult it can be. It’s a very stressful time, after a loved one dies, and we can help mitigate that stress before it arrives. You can pay for it ahead of time, plan out where and how you’d like to be buried, and let everyone know your wishes.
Take Tough Decisions Out of Your Family’s Hands at a Difficult Time
They’ll most likely be distraught and grief-stricken, and you wouldn’t want them to also be forced to make financial decisions or plan an event under such duress. Why make your family decide if you should be buried or cremated? What about which cemetery you should be buried in – and in which state, where you lived or where you grew up? Make the tough decisions for them, since they won’t be tough for you.
Save Your Family Money
By paying for your funeral ahead of time, you’ll be locking in today’s prices, rather than years from now when you actually die. From caskets to urns to tombstones, you can pay for things ahead of time that will be cheaper now than later on.
Be Celebrated the Way You Want To Be Celebrated
Make personal decisions on the types of music you’d like to be played, who you’d like to speak at your funeral and even what thoughtful and interesting events might happen at your funeral, like the release of doves or balloons. This is a great chance to share your love with your family one last time, and it should be built around your wishes, rather than what your family guesses you’d like.
Get the Quality and Value You Want, Rather Than Be Rushed
Since you’ll have much more time to plan your own funeral, you can actually shop around for the best prices and the best values on the things you’ll have to buy, like a casket or urn. You can even visit the funeral homes and see which ones you think would work as the best spot for a celebration of your life.
How Early Should I Start Pre-Planning?
There is no right or wrong answer when deciding how early to start pre-planning your funeral and interment choice. However, it is always better to start your pre-paid funeral plans as soon as possible for several reasons.
We commonly hear that individuals are prompted to begin the funeral planning process after experiencing the death of a loved one. Planning a funeral in immediate need can be stressful and conflicts may arise when family members are not sure of what the deceased’s wishes are. Here at The Gardens of Boca Raton and Boca Raton Funeral Home, we seek to take the burden off of loved ones during such a difficult time. Presenting them with the funeral plans that you have selected yourself is one such way of doing so.
The most important reason to start your funeral planning, including making pre-paid funeral plans, is that there is no way to foresee when your family may need them. Unfortunately, many funerals are sudden. For this reason, it is crucial to make sure that your loved ones are aware of your wishes, and if you choose to make pre-paid funeral plans, begin the funding process.
Our team of professionals will help you with your funeral planning process, no matter your age or circumstance. Some individuals make plans while they are young and in good health. While it may be challenging to think about, doing so can be extremely beneficial.
What Do I Need to Begin Funeral Planning?
When pre-planning a funeral, or creating pre-paid funeral plans, there are several things that you will need to take into consideration. Our family is here to guide you the entire way. We offer a free online funeral planning guide for those who wish to begin exploring their options from the comfort and privacy of their own homes.
The following is a check list of some details that will come up and even if they have already been pre-planned, the wishes will still need to be carried out.
- After a death has occurred, the following are some questions that we may ask when you call:
- What is the full name of the deceased?
- What is the location of the deceased (Hospital, Nursing Facility or Residence)?
- What is your name, address and telephone number?
- What is the name, address and phone number of the next-of-kin?
- Is there a pre-arranged funeral plan? (If yes, what is the plan name or number?)
We will then set an appointment time for you to come to the funeral home to complete the details of the funeral arrangement. We will ask you to bring in some items and information that will be necessary to complete the arrangement. These items will include:
- Clothing for the deceased
- Social security number of the deceased
- The deceased’s birth date and city and state of birth
- The deceased’s parents’ names, including mother’s maiden name
- Information about the deceased’s education
- Marital status of the deceased
- Veteran’s discharge papers or Claim Number
- A recent photograph of the deceased
- Pre-arrangement paperwork (if applicable)
- Cemetery lot information (if applicable)
- Contact your clergy. Decide on a time and place for the funeral or memorial service (the services may be held at the funeral home)
- The funeral home will assist you in determining the number of copies of the death certificates that you will need and will order them for you
- Make a list of family, friends and business colleagues, and notify each by phone. You may wish to use a “branching” system: make a few phone calls to other relatives or friends and ask each of them to make a phone call or two to specific people
- Decide on an appropriate charity to which gifts may be made (church, hospice, library, organization, school)
- Gather obituary information, including a photo, age, place of birth, cause of death, occupation, college degrees, memberships held, military service, outstanding work and a list of survivors in the immediate family. Include the time and place of the funeral services. The funeral home will usually write the obituary and submit it to the newspaper(s)
- Arrange for family members and/or close friends to take turns answering the door or phone. Keeping a careful record of visitors and flower deliveries will make it easier to thank people later on
- If Social Security checks are deposited automatically, notify the bank of the death
- Coordinate the food supply in your home for the next several days
- Delegate special needs of the household, such as cleaning, food preparation, etc., to friends and family who offer their help
- Arrange for child care, if necessary
- Arrange hospitality for visiting relatives and friends
- Select pallbearers and notify the funeral home. (People with heart or back difficulties may be named honorary pallbearers)
- Plan for the disposition of flowers after the funeral (to a church, hospital or rest home)
- Prepare a list of distant friends and relatives to be notified by letter and/or printed notice
- Prepare a list of people to receive acknowledgments of flowers, calls, etc. Send appropriate acknowledgments, which may be a written note, printed acknowledgments, or both. Include “thank yous’ ” to those who have given their time, as well
- Notify insurance companies of the death
- Locate the will and notify the lawyer and executor
- Carefully check all life and casualty insurance and death benefits, including Social Security, credit union, trade union, fraternal, and military. Check on possible income for survivors from these sources
- Check promptly on all debts and installment payments, including credit cards. Some may carry insurance clauses that will cancel them. If there is to be a delay in meeting payments, consult with creditors and ask for more time before the payments are due
- If the deceased was living alone, notify the utility companies and landlord and tell the post office where to send the mail
- Your Funeral Director will prepare the necessary Social Security paperwork.
At the end of the day, there may be many things to arrange and execute on but when all is said and done, don’t forget to carve out some time for yourself to grieve in your own special way for the deceased
The online guide includes information on everything you will need, including forms to complete for service and memorial information, interment choice, as well as paperwork for a living will. If you are going to complete a living will, you will need two witnesses to sign as well. One of the witnesses must not be related to you by blood or be your spouse. A living will is not mandatory, though it does offer many people comfort knowing that their wishes for end-of-life will be met.
Additionally, our funeral planning guide provides you with the opportunity to select the type of service you wish to have, where the service is to take place, what religious customs to include if any, speakers you want to to have, where you would like the reception and wake to be held, and much more.
The paperwork is designed to give you total control and peace of mind over your decisions, ensure that your wishes will be met down to the last detail. Many people have questions and concerns as they begin their funeral planning process, which is entirely natural.
For answers to many common questions, visit our Question and Answer page.
Should you have further questions or like to speak in person, schedule a private consultation with a dedicated member of our team. We will take the time to address all of the information you are seeking compassionately, assuring that you are comfortable with your decisions.
What Elements of Funeral Planning Can be Completed in Advance?
When pre-planning a funeral, one of the most common questions is regarding what can and cannot be planned in advance. At The Gardens of Boca Raton and Boca Raton Funeral Home, we seek to empower you to make as many decisions as possible throughout the planning process.
Financial arrangements are often a paramount concern, and we can aid you in making pre-paid funeral plans. Finances will be put aside in a trust, legally noted to be used exclusively for funeral services and interment.
There are many other elements of funeral planning that can be completed in advance. You can make plans for the singer or musician you would like to play at the service, gather photos or videos that you would like displayed or shown, select whether you would like to be buried or cremated, note any religious or literary passages you would like to be read, select pallbearers, select a casket, and make known the clothing and jewelry you would like.
These decisions can be difficult, and many people do not know where to start. However, selecting such options in advance ensures that your memorial service, funeral, and burial or cremation will have an element of personalization. It is also common for family members to have difficulty making decisions in a time of mourning. Having such details pre-selected relieves them of added stress or tension during this time.
Another one of the most common questions individuals have is regarding interment options. With the funeral planning process, you have the opportunity to select a mausoleum, niche, lawn crypt, or ground burial. It is particularly important to note this as we often hear from families that they are unsure of what their loved ones wanted.
The Cost of Pre-Planning a Funeral
The ability to create pre-paid funeral plans is a relief to many. With average funeral costs reaching thousands of dollars, many feel more at ease knowing that their loved ones will not be left with a financial burden in their time of grief. There is no cost associated with our funeral planning services when putting together your arrangements ahead of time. Many people like to know that pre-planning can save up to 25% of the cost when compared to funeral planning when in immediate need.
When you make pre-paid funeral plans, you can cover most of, if not all, of the costs that would be incurred by family members and loved ones. The money that is set aside into your trust can cover cremation or casket and burial costs, as well as many details that you may wish to plan.
Funeral Cost Determining Factors
Funerals are often considered expensive for several different reasons. However, when you consider the many different services that go into the funeral process, from picking up the deceased (at any time, day or night) all the way to laying them to rest, it is easier to see where the costs are. Obviously, the best way to keep costs in your budget is to pre-plan. This gives you the opportunity, with a clear mind, to do your research and shop around. Pre-planning also it lets you think through the different options that are available.
(Download our Free Funeral Planning Guide here)
7 Factors Involved In Funeral Cost
There are several variables that can help funeral costs go up or down, depending on the preferences of the family.
1. Professional Services Fee
This is the funeral home’s initial cost that comes on top of the features mentioned below. The service fee includes funeral planning, securing the right permits and death certificate copies, preparing notices and coordinating arrangements with third parties. Having a staff available 24 hours a day, along with the standard costs of any operating business, including staff salaries, property expenses, and insurance can prove to be costly.
If you are planning a traditional funeral, this is likely going to be the highest-priced item on your funeral cost list. A funeral director will show you a selection of caskets that they sell, which will likely include cheaper options and expensive options. You are also allowed to provide a casket you purchased from a third party.
If you plan to have a viewing or a visitation, some funeral homes require the body to be embalmed, which is a service they’d likely provide. If the body is cremated shortly after death, embalming is unnecessary or legally required.
When having a ceremony at the funeral home, there will be additional costs for using their chapel or a separate room, and for the assistance of any staff.
Cremation or Burial
You might choose cremation, which is a separate cost. If you don’t have a viewing, you can have the body cremated directly, which means the funeral home will provide a container for the process.
For burials, grave liners or burial vaults are placed inside the grave to prevent the sides from caving in. While these aren’t required by law, the cemetery might require them to prevent sinking.
Urns or Headstones
Whether you choose cremation or burial, you’ll have an added cost for what marks the body’s final resting place. There are hundreds of different types of urns and keepsake items that ashes can be stored in, including jewelry and memorial benches. There are also different types of stones used for grave headstones, including marble, granite or sandstone.
The Gardens of Boca Raton offers their cemetery and funeral services at reasonable prices with payment plans available so when the unfortunate time comes, your loved ones will not be burdened in what will already be a very difficult time. When you are ready to discuss your end of life needs and final resting place for yourself or someone in your family in Broward, Dade or Palm Beach County, give them a call at (561) 989-9190, an
How to Begin Funeral Planning
If you are interested in beginning the pre-planning and/or pre-funding process, contact us today. We are here to walk you through the process.
Take a virtual tour of our facility or call us today at (561) 325-6664.
How to Talk to Friends about Pre-planning Funerals
Starting the legacy conversation and discussing pre-planning funerals with friends and family members is never easy. Perhaps one of the most unpleasant conversations one can have with a loved one is about death. However, talking to friends about pre-planning funeral arrangements is possibly the best gift a friend can give another one.
Yes, discussing end-of-life arrangements is emotionally challenging – for both parties. However, initiating these conversations today will leave everyone involved in a more comfortable position for the future. Here’s how our caring funeral specialists recommend you respectfully start the conversation to encourage your friends to talk about pre-planning funeral arrangements.
Why Express Final Wishes?
No one knows precisely when he or she will die, taking the time now to think about funeral arrangements makes sense for everyone. Whether you are barely starting life as a young adult, or you are enjoying a peaceful retirement, discussing funeral plans with friends and family is a good thing.
In fact, according to the Annual Consumer Awareness and Preferences Study by the National Funeral Directors Association, 62.5 percent of consumers felt it was imperative to communicate their funeral plans and wishes to family members and friends. Only 21.4 percent had done so.
However, expressing your final wishes doesn’t have to be as detailed as what kind of flowers you’d like, or if there should be music during your funeral. The truth is, pre-planning funeral arrangements involves the more significant decisions, such as if whether you’d like to be buried or cremated. In many cases, a third of those organizing a funeral for a loved one doesn’t know the answer to these major questions.
Expressing your final wishes today will give clarity and guidance to your friends and family later.
How to Start the Conversation?
Death is often an unspoken subject around friends and family. The truth is that there’s no right or wrong way to approach this conversation. While some people might find it the easiest to discuss funeral pre-planning over dinner, others might find it disturbing or disrespectful.
No one knows your friends better than you. Find a quiet moment, free of any tension or stress, perhaps over a cup of coffee, or during a walk by the park. Starting the conversation will always be the hardest part.
To start the conversation, consider just telling the truth and explaining that you’ve been thinking about your end-of-life wishes, or maybe you recently attended another’s friend funeral, or you saw something on the news or the movies that made you think about your own funeral arrangements.
Making them Know Your End of Life Plans
If you are genuinely considering making all these decisions, then consider having a sit-down to discuss all your plans. Go over why you believe it is important for you to discuss your pre-planning arrangements and why you want them to be involved. Some of your friends may think something is wrong, reassure them that you are choosing to start planning to make things easier from them and your family in the future.
Sitting Down with a Funeral Director
If you believe your friends and family will have a harsh time with this conversation, consider sitting down with a funeral director. By doing this, you can have someone else guide the discussion and steer you in the right direction as to how and what to say about your final wishes.
Working with a funeral director is particularly helpful when you know there will be some tension coming from your friends. Having an external personal involved can help ease the stress of the moment. It will also help you understand the kind of decisions you need to make when choosing your pre-planning funeral arrangements.
Explaining the Benefits of Pre-planning Funerals
As you are discussing your end-of-life wishes, you also want to make sure you express the benefits of pre-planning your funeral. Often, friends won’t understand the purpose of having these discussions since they don’t want to think about their friends’ death.
This is the perfect opportunity to talk about the benefits of pre-planning funeral arrangements. Explain that you will be saving your family the financial burden of paying for a funeral, not to mention the emotional stress of having to plan your funeral in the first place. Understanding why you are choosing to have this discussion will help everyone involve feel more comfortable about the subject.
The idea of pre-planning funeral expenses and arrangements may be difficult to contemplate. Dealing with the concept of one’s mortality is complex and can bring on many feelings. Maybe you’ve been wondering to yourself for a while if and where to start the process, or perhaps you’ve decided that now is the time to begin. Pre-planning funeral expenses and arrangements can be beneficial both for yourself and for your loved ones for many different reasons. The process can be difficult to navigate, but it doesn’t have to be.
The pre-planning of funeral expenses and arrangements has become more common in recent years, as individuals are embracing their power of choice and also the ability to help their loved ones in the difficult time of bereavement even after they have left. Many even find it comforting to know that they are leaving their loved ones with predetermined decisions and direction for what will be an emotionally difficult time. It may be hard to talk to loved ones beforehand, or it may be difficult for loved ones to truly hear and absorb wishes when discussing something they don’t yet want to face. Having pre-planned arrangements can help the process tremendously.
One of the most common reasons individuals cite for the pre-planning of funeral expenses and arrangements is the cost that it saves their surviving family members. Last-minute arrangements are often more expensive when compared to plans that have been made beforehand, and it makes many individuals feel more at peace knowing that finances will not be pressure on their family.
Beginning the process of pre-planning funeral expenses or arrangements can be the most daunting part of it all. Often people don’t know where to turn, or who to begin having conversations with. It’s best to begin with the broader concepts, such as what your wishes are, before digging too far into details.
Questions such as whether you’d prefer to be cremated or have a traditional burial should be considered first. Is there somewhere you have thought of being buried? Oftentimes people have pre-purchased a burial plot or planned to be buried next to a spouse or family member. This is the perfect spot to begin. If you have already purchased a plot, that is one expense that you will not have to plan for as it has already been taken care of. Make your family aware of this, although they may already know.
Another broad consideration to begin thinking about is what kind of service you would like to have. Some people prefer traditional religious services, while others prefer a simple, more private memorial service to be held at a later point in time. There is no right or wrong decision and you should choose what feels right to you.
Once you’ve become acclimated with these larger concepts you will have a better idea of what you will need to plan specifically and what costs you will need to look at.
Deciding on the Details
Once you’re ready to start planning the details you can begin to narrow your focus on what you would and would not like to plan and pre-fund. Maybe there is a funeral home that your family has always used, and you would like your service to be held there as well. If you’ve decided on cremation, you may want to start looking into local crematories and comparing prices.
There are lots of funeral pre-planning services out there, some of which allow you to pay for and select everything down to the flowers. If you’re a very detail-oriented person or have a very specific vision of how you would like your service to be remembered, this may be the route for you.
Who Can Help with This Process?
The pre-planning of funeral expenses and arrangements should always be done via contract, in writing, signed by authorized parties. Oftentimes, legal stipulations dictate that only an official funeral director may pre-plan a funeral with an individual. Funeral directors hold specific licensures in the state they operate and most have undergone an apprenticeship prior to becoming licensed. On average, a funeral director has undergone 3 to 4 years of training before gaining their credentials.
If you’re looking into pre-planning your funeral expenses and arrangements, call around to a few different funeral directors, as most offer entirely free consultations. Find someone you’re comfortable speaking with, who makes you feel at ease, and who takes the time to listen to and answer your questions. As this will be one of the most sensitive things you have done in your life, you want to be sure you are dealing with someone you are entirely comfortable with.
Your state may have different legal requirements and there may be companies that are allowed to act as middlemen and help you through the process without dealing with a funeral director directly.
How Will a Funeral Director or Planning Service Help Me Pre-Plan My Expenses?
A funeral director or planning service will be able to provide you with an itemized list of expected funeral expenses. The list will outline the costs of each service and items they offer, so you can begin to look at what you can afford, what you would like, and solidify the more detailed decisions.
What Are My Options for Pre-Planning Expenses?
There are many ways to set aside, or pre-plan, funeral expenses. Options include setting up a trust, purchasing a whole life insurance plan with pre-need inclusions that stipulate the policy designate money be paid for a funeral, setting up a payable-on-death account (an account of which ownership transfers directly to the funeral home upon death), or creating a savings account with a specific family member designated to have the “right of survivorship.” There are also special “funeral insurance” plans that allow you to take out a policy to help with pre-planning funeral expenses.
Helping Yourself Through Grief
Most of us are familiar with “grief” as something we experience after the death of a loved one. However, grieving can begin long before the final loss occurs, for you as well as your loved one. When a family member or a close friend suffers from a terminal illness, those close to them experience a series of losses that are eerily similar to grief itself. Whether you’re caring for an aging parent that’s starting to fade away or someone you love is facing imminent death, it is important you remember to help yourself as well.
Dealing with Anticipatory Grief
Because we understand grief as something that occurs after death, many of us don’t know what we’re experiencing is anticipatory grief. When a loved one is approaching death, those close to them may grieve the loss of many of their loved one’s abilities.
During this period, you may experience a swirl of emotions that go back and forth. Although everyone grieves differently, friends or family members often feel shocked, confused, anxious, angry, guilty, and overwhelming sadness. One could say these are an extension of the five stages of grief most people experience after the death of a loved one. These are all sentiments expected to overwhelm those suffering the pain and loss that accompany the fact that someone they love is dying.
It is important to recognize that these are all valid emotions, and they need acceptance. As difficult as it is, acknowledging the reality of imminent death will help those grieving find comfort in their loved one’s physical presence, and in the possibility of caring for them until their final days.
Today, there are several websites to help people deal with grief. These can be especially helpful for those caring for a dying loved one as they can be accessed anywhere in the world.
The Power of Meaningful Conversations
When a loved one is approaching death, intense emotions can be overwhelming to everyone close to them. While you care for your loved one, remember the power of meaningful conversations. Often, people at the end of life recall happy memories with those they’re leaving behind, to find closure and comfort. Use these moments to channel conversations towards forgiveness, thankfulness, and loving memories that foster a close connection.
People approaching death may try to communicate an essential message to those around them, even when sometimes the words are not clear. Please do not assume what they are saying is nonsensical babble; try to understand what they are trying to say and let them know you received their message.
Ask the Tough Questions
While everyone wants to ignore the elephant in the room, at one point, you will have to ask the tough questions. If your loved one has made pre-planning arrangements, this conversation will go smoothly. When they have not, you have to make sure you know their final wishes, where all the documents you will need are saved, and other valuable information that will help you make sure your loved one remains comfortable.
Preparing to Say Goodbye
When you prepare to say goodbye, remember this is all about them—not you. In many cases, the presence of friends and family will speak louder than a million words. In this case, be selective with your words. Less is often more. Let your loved one take the lead on the conversation. Remember to say “I love you,” talk about how they’re feeling, encourage them to share memories, and be truthful and kind over everything.
Caring for Yourself, Too
It is easy to forget nurturing yourself during this challenging time. Caregivers often forget to look out for their necessities. You have to make sure to take care of yourself physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and socially.
For those who struggle to share their feelings, this could be difficult to manage. However, it is important to find a friend or family member that can act as your lifeline, that person that will listen to you without judging. If you can’t find this person between your friends and family members, seek help from a counselor who specializes in grief.
Caring for a loved one or friend is a trying experience; many caregivers experience “compassion fatigue,” or exhaustion for providing constant care. Accompanying a loved one or a friend on their final journey is a painful experience. Be kind to yourself, let your emotions run freely, take it easy, give thanks for the things in life that bring you joy, be grateful for the last days with your loved one, and forgive yourself for having rough days.
When to Reach Out for Help
Caring for a dying loved one takes a toll that leaves most caregivers physically exhausted and emotionally drained. As much as your attention is, and should be, focused on your loved one, it is also important to remember to care for yourself. The most important thing you can do to shield your emotional and physical health during this challenging time is knowing when to reach out for help.
The need for help can come from various places. Financial worries are often at the top of the list, as caring for a dying loved one can be an economic challenge. Reaching out to friends and other family members should not be looked at as shameful or embarrassing. In most cases, those close to the dying person will be eager to help.
Time-management and final arrangements can also be complicated. This is particularly true for caregivers with full-time or part-time jobs, those going to school, and those with small children. Managing their time between caring for their loved one and living their lives can be challenging – reaching out for support can be a tremendous help.
If at any point you feel disconnected from reality, you feel physically exhausted, or you lack sleep, consider seeking help. Working with a professional grief counselor can help you manage your emotions and challenges better. Likewise, seeking out help with an elder care center can bring down the need of constantly caring for your loved one.
Seeking help is not admitting defeat or neglecting your loved one’s care. It means you care enough for them that you’re willing to ensure that you’re in your best shape possible, both physically and emotionally, to make sure you can care for them the way they deserve in their final days.
We Are Here to Help
At The Gardens of Boca Raton, our funeral experts provide grief counseling services to those struggling with the imminent death of their loved one. Contact us today to schedule a private consultation.
What to Do Next?
After talking to your friends and family about your funeral plans, you want to make sure you formalize your wishes. Speaking to a funeral director helps to layout your funeral arrangements and make sure when the unexpected happens, your friends and family will have the protection that your funeral arrangements have been taken care of.
If you or someone you know is ready to discuss end-of-life plans with your friends, contact The Gardens of Boca Raton for a private consultation with one of our caring funeral specialists and our funeral director. Preparing for the unexpected will not only help you today but help your friends and family in the future. When you no longer are going to be able to be there, make sure your legacy will by pre-planning your funeral and burial arrangements today.