There is no second chance at picking your final resting place, and without proper plans you could leave behind indecision, guilt and chaos.
Every choice can be a debate between spouses, adult children and other family members. It’s hard to agree on everything and there is no going back and changing things after the fact.
For example, John Smith is 50 years old and recently remarried. His current wife, Jane loves him and his adult children, and is referred to as Grandma at family gatherings. James, John’s oldest, moved away after college and lives comfortably with his wife and two children who visit Grandpa at holidays and birthdays.
Sean, who works in the construction business and married later in life, has no children. John’s youngest, his daughter Emily, lives near where she grew up, is a stay at home mother with two children, and serves on the PTA and volunteers in the community.
If John were to pass prematurely at age 55 there could be a lot of varied input on important decisions. Items such as cemetery locations, burial versus cremation, and caskets can become debates with many conflicting opinions involved.
Jane’s input is easily scrutinized by John’s children as “not what my father always wanted.” James might over compensate for not seeing his father as much as he would have liked by “wanting the best for dad at any cost.” James wants a beautiful cemetery space and the most elaborate casket. Sean sees no need for such frills and remembers that “Dad enjoyed a simpler life.”
Emily has a completely separate set of concerns. She wants to be able to remember daddy every day and is concerned about disturbing the earth. She would prefer John be cremated and wants to keep an urn in a special place in her house.
The level of stress and debate can wage on right up until the burial. In some cases the children or Jane will strongly disagree and feel hurt and can hold on to that anger for years.
They cannot to go back to the cemetery and change the previous choices. The pain and hurt of John’s passing can be compounded by the differing opinions of what is best for John.
This stress would be avoided if John personally took on the responsibility for burial preplanning. By completing the burial planning process now, John knows his choices will be final and his family can deal with grief appropriately when his time comes.