Dying Man’s Daily Journal – Arranging you own funeral


This morning was really a different time. I actually went to the funeral home and made all the arrangements for my own passing.

What I have had in the past were what I thought were clear instructions on what I wanted and did not want. I thought that would be enough to ease the burden on the family at the time. I am sure having it laid out as to what I would want, would indeed make it easier.

my brother passed just a couple of weeks ago. Talking to Debbie (his wife/my sister-in-law), I got some idea of how difficult it was still actually going in to make those arrangements.

I don’t want that for Vi and my daughters so it is arranged start to finish. All they need to know is the when.

The service itself has enough flexibility with in it that any or all may add personal touches should they wish.

i admit to being nervous/apprehensive even a little scared going into this. Now that it is done I do feel more at peace.

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13 Responses to Dying Man’s Daily Journal – Arranging you own funeral

  1. Jackie says:

    What a wonderful gift it is to tell your family exactly what you want, so they never have to wonder if they did what you wanted. This makes my heart happy.

    Thank you. I just want to make things as easy as possible. That will be the time that is all about the family. I do love them and want it to be as easy as possible

  2. Nancy Cavanaugh (NSC) says:

    So kind of you, Bill! It continues to amaze me how you insist on learning and growing and helping your family! It is a gift to them so they don’t have to second guess any decisions. You are, of course, right that our instructions on paper might not be complete.

    Warmest Regards! NSC

    Thank you, I do want to make it as easy as possible for all. Have to admit that when I was standing in that chapel the thought did hit me. The next time I am in this room…..
    It is a relief and makes me feel more at ease having it done.

  3. Cheryl Link says:

    I was at a funeral about a month ago. It took place at a recreation centre and everyone sat at round tables (not chairs in rows). Everything about it was about the deceased’s favourite things (music, pictures, lipstick, books and much more). The lunch was her favourite foods ( fruit ka-bobs, barbeque chips and chocolate cake) served by her church family. Lots of people shared on the open mic – it was wonderful!! That’s the way to go.

    An interesting thought, glad things went well

  4. Shirley says:

    I’ve had relatives to make arrangements in advance. However, I don’t know if this is a common practice or if there are just a few unscrupulous funeral parlors, but in each and every case the parlor has come up with added expenses, up to $1,000, saying it was an “open the ground” charge. Consequently, I don’t trust them. I’ve told my daughter to give me a no frills cremation and I’m putting money aside for that purpose.

    Hi Shirley, I am with you on the no frills cremation. My hope is by actually making the arrangements it will stay that way, no extra frills, I mean. Plus, actually going into make those arrangements is difficult. Even more difficult for the grieving family. I am just trying to make that time easier for them.
    I am not sure what to say about the unscrupulous ones. I would imagine there may be a few bad apples in every barrel which should be penalized but I know the vast majority are honest, very helpful in every way.
    Bill

  5. hilarymb says:

    HI Bill – that’s a very sensible thing to have done and so much easier for all concerned. For my mother we just had the simplest we could … and then had a Remembrance Service in Cornwall where she’d worked and been born – so really the best of both worlds .. and she had had some input – go the pub afterwards! I had talked it over with her ..so I knew the basics, and she was a member of the small village church in Cornwall – so again that made the services easy …

    Just don’t go too soon now! With many thoughts … Hilary

    Hi Hilary. First off my condolences for the loss of you mother. I congratulate you on following through with her wishes as best you could at such a difficult time.
    I have done all of this just to I hope ease the burden on my family. The “plan” is there but I am not planning on using it any time soon. Only, our Heavenly Father knows when that will happen.

  6. M T McGuire says:

    That’s a seriously cool thing to do for your loved ones and I am sure they will appreciate it.

  7. Hello, Bill,
    This is the first time I have seen your blog. I gather that your death is imminent and that you continue to serve all you love. I thank you.
    I wish to share my favorite parable with you:
    When I pass, I expect to be met by all who have preceeded me, including my parents… in a party atmosphere. I begin to get the idea that there is a joke that all are in on but me. Finally someone says to me, “It didn’t have to be that hard, you know.” Everyone bursts into laughter… as do I.

    Perhaps this for you… please accept my good intent when I say to you, “Enjoy!”

    Blessings, Harveytheelder.

    Thank you Harvey. I love the parable. It seems I can go from knowing and accepting this doesn’t have to be hard, even shouldn’t be hard, to dreading the whole thing.
    Thanks for stopping by. Hope to hear from you again.
    Bill

  8. Betty says:

    Good job Bill. Your preperations for your future passing is a very kind gesture to your loved ones. Making funeral arrangements for a loved one is very difficult. You hope you do the right things while at the same time grieving your loss. My husband and I have done most of our arrangements and don’t intend on leaving any time soon. When we explained what we had done to our daughter (only child) she said we sounded like we had just purchased a condo. I suppose she felt that way because we presented this information to her with humor. I know the pre-arrangements will be appreciated by whoever is left to fine tune the event. Some people, I’m sure, would find it difficult to do this for themselves, but we are relieved that it is done. Some people even feel reluctant to make a Will, or arrange for a Power of Attorney…..this also left undone can create allot of problems in the future. I just look at it as my eternal future plans.

    very well said Betty. I agree in full. I like the line “my eternal future plans”

  9. A1225 says:

    That’s so brave of you to made it from start to finish. I must admit and say it’s really hard to prepare for your own passing but come to think of it, it’s also much harder for your loved ones who will be left behind. They will be stress of all the commotions and emotions of one’s passing.

    My dad who passed 3 years ago prepared everything and mailed out letters to respected recipients of what to do, what he will wear and some extra request. It was one of the hardest days of my life and even now I still shed bucket of tears just remembering it.

    You are one brave man and I am so honored to have known you even through blogging. I will surely missed your entry.

    Thank you and I admire your dad for all that he did. I’ve even gone as far as the clothes. I was a banker wearing a suit and tie. Was so happy to get rid of that tie. If it is summer favorite casual shirt and a pair of shorts. If winter, Same shirt with a pair of jeans. Still working on the music .
    Appreciate you kind words
    Bill

  10. Agnes says:

    I have been following your posts for some time. I have never replied as I felt I had nothing meaningful to say. Planning your own funeral really hit a nerve with me. I did that very thing but days ago.
    As I guess it was with you, it was one of the hardest most emotional things I have ever done. As you commented, I sat in that room, the chapel thinking of what it would be like the next time I would be in that room, how different it would be. I have end stage cancer through much of my body. It will not be long before I am back in that chapel
    I arranged a very small private service. A funeral is for those left behind. It is a day for them, not for me. I want it to be a meaningful day for those that have stood by my side supporting me in my time of need. It is my way of recognizing, and thanking the special few that have been here for me. It is my final thank you to the select few.
    I look at it this way. To any that couldn’t be bothered with me in my time of need, while I was alive, no need to come to see me when I am gone.
    Agnes Waters

    Hi Agnes, welcome to the blog and thank you for taking the time to leave your comment. I hope no one ever is hesitant about leaving any comment. Even a simple hi, is meaningful to me.
    I had never thought of a private funeral as you are talking. We have exchanged a couple of emails which you have OK’d me to discuss. I understand your thinking and reasoning.
    Your funeral is your last official “event” on this earth. You wish to use it to recognize, pay tribute to and thank those that have been at your side. Not have that “select and special” group just be absorbed into a larger crowd of people that may attend a funeral. “The rest of them will just be there out of a sense of obligation. Don’t even want to be there. I’m making it easier for them, you really don’t want to be there so don’t come. If you really cared you would have been here when I need you. I want my final act on this earth to be my tribute to those that cared”.
    I understand what you are saying. I need to think more on this. I will try to get up a post on this in the next few days
    Bill

  11. Mel says:

    I have to say, this post was genuinely hard for me to read.
    Don’t get me wrong–I believe it was a responsible, loving thing to do. Having had to tend to arrangements for my father and step-mother, I can attest to how difficult it was to make all those decisions while I was at the peak of my grief. It was awful…beyond ‘hard’. It was a time where making clear decisions just wasn’t going to happen. I was too sad, raw from the emotional pain. And they wanted me to decide on caskets and readings and hymns?!
    It’s good you wanted to tend to those details….but…. The ‘but’, of course, is the selfish part of me that wants to wave my magic wand and fix everything. I’ve been waving that darn thing forever–I’m greedy, I want more. Forgive me as I tell you it’s another layer of reality that stares at me, and all those who love you, square in the face. I know it could have been no less for you. And forgive me as I confess that I’ve gotten ‘cocky’ about my time here with you. I know it’s limited.
    I know you will go home to G-d.
    I hope for more time…and I’m grateful for the gift of time we’ve been given here with you. You’ve touched my life more than you know. Here’s to you coming to really know just how much YOU and HERE has made a difference in the lives of many, many others.

    Thank you Mel. The thought that I may have made a positive difference in the life of anyone is a great comfort, that has always been my hope and dream.
    I am sorry to hear of how difficult for you when it came time to make the necessary arrangements. By making my own arrangements I hope to ease my families burden at that time. There can be no worry about what I would have wanted as I arranged it.
    Not going to be exactly traditional. I don’t imagine that many services include rock and roll but, hey, I am doing it my way.
    Mel, you have been a great friend and I thank you so much
    Bill

    • Mel says:

      Oh, I don’t know Bill….when one of my staff members lost her battle to ovarian cancer she had some foot stompin’, yeehawin’ music that made most of us laugh through our tears. It was so…her!
      So play that funky music!! 😉

      Mel, that is exactly what I am looking for. Songs like that. I want this to be a celebration of life in general, my life and our time together. All I have left to do is come up with a song list. My favourite songs but want to add a bit of the here haw country you mention. I am struggling to remember song titles. Appreciate suggestions

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