Several years ago, my beloved Aunt Leticia died suddenly and was buried next to her husband in a quaint cemetery plot on Nantucket Island on a very stormy afternoon. For whatever reason, I started thinking about where I might want to be buried. This had never before been a topic of conversation at the dinner table.
Thanksgiving is a special holiday. Besides the great joy derived from gathering family members together for a scrumptious feast, channel surfing between football games and the Macy's Thanksgiving day parade on TV, and, in our family, many rounds of competitive ping-pong matches, it is a time to reflect upon being grateful for each other and for giving to others who may be less fortunate.
Happily, my Mom was not in any way, shape, or form interested in or engaged in anything on the internet. In fact, attempting to teach her to use a cell phone was futile. We tried. We even had the grandkids attempt to teach her. She had no interest in technology and actually frowned upon the growing scene of the young and old with cell phones glued to their ears, speaking way too loudly, and ignoring others while walking out in front of cars oblivious to the dangers.
Have you ever thrown a family reunion at the very last minute with no advance planning for details including where your reunion will be located, where you will house all of your incoming family members, how you will provide transporation to and from the airport at all hours of the day and night, what kind of food and how many meals to plan on, what the appropriate attire should be, and what the other forms of entertainment for the weekend will be?
Now here's a topic not many people want to talk about. But, of course I do. The importance of communicating whether you want to be buried or cremated is first and foremost. This is not a decision that can be reversed.
I read recently about how urns full of ashes are stacked up in the closets of funeral homes uncollected. Here are some thoughts as to why that may happen.
Here are 7 tasks to deal with ASAP whether or not your loved one's death was sudden or expected.
Contacting the emergency medical team is probably the first number you will dial. Someone died. And you need help. Then it is time to say goodbye and have your loved one transported to the local hospital or funeral home. Someone has to officially declare the death.
Have you ever tried to write an obituary?
It certainly was not a writing assignment that I had in college.
There are many reasons why writing an obituary is inherently difficult:
Honestly. No one really enjoys talking about death do they?
And no one really enjoys bringing up a very delicate topic that can create that weird silent gap in a conversation between child and parent or visa versa, do they?
But we should all make our own plan and then communicate it. Or, communicate it first then document it.
May 4, 2006.
I was driving to the North Shore Mall on Interstate 95 on a beautiful spring day. My cell phone rang. It was my brothers number. "Dad's been trying to reach you-did he get a hold of you"?
You know how hard it is sometimes to just "get started"?
And I mean to start anything?
Especially doing things that you have put off doing, want to put off doing, don't want to do, or think "maybe I can do that later"?
Like the task of switching your closet from your summer clothes to fall clothes, or cleaning out the attic or the inside of your oven, or having those honest conversations about tough topics?