Although many people find the contemplation of their own mortality difficult to discuss the value of preplanning your final wishes can never be overstated.
At the time of a death – where pre-planning has not occurred – there are over 100 decisions, choices and pieces of information your survivors need to make, decide and acquire in order to complete your final arrangements.
AS A MINIMUM
- Talk about your preferences and final wishes with your family and those who will most likely be responsible for making your final arrangements.
- Put your final wishes in writing, even if they’re just general instructions saying whther you want cremation or burial, a traditional funeral or a memorial service (see below..’Don’t Forget Your Survivors….”).
- Give a copy of this final wishes document to those who will most likely be responsible for making your arrangements.
- Don’t make the only record of your final wishes a part of your will. It is not uncommon for wills to be located and read until after funeral and memorial services have been completed.
- Remember the more pre-planning you do now the more it will reduce the decisions and stress your survivors have to face as they deal with your death.
- At the bottom of this page we have a link that will take you to a simple form that will guide you through completing a basic, printable ‘My Final Wishes’ document for your family.
THE NEXT STEP
Pre-planning of those needs will:
- Provide peace of mind by ensuring that your specific wishes are known and followed;
- Ensure financial decisions are made objectively and free of the stress experienced at the time of death; relieve your survivors of the emotional strain of making these decisions in the midst of their bereavement; and,
- If you prepay your arrangements – guarantee tomorrow’s needs at today’s cost.
PREPAYMENT AT ROYAL OAK
- Our prearrangement plan allows for the prepayment of most of our services.
- Prepaid arrangements will reserve the chosen grave, niche, or crypt.
- Prepaid service fees, such as opening and closing or cremation, are placed into a trust fund where the accumulated interest serves to offset inflation.
- The end result is that services arranged and paid for in advance means tomorrow’s needs are guaranteed at today’s cost.
People also need to be aware that at the time of a death the services required to complete the disposition of the decedent’s remains are provided on two levels.
- A Funeral Service Provider will arrange for the transfer of the remains, legal documentation, the direction of a funeral or memorial service if requested and the transfer of the remains to the Burial Park.The Burial Park will perform the interment of the casket, or the cremation of the deceased and the inurnment of the ashes as directed by the client family.
No matter which funeral service provider a family chooses, Royal Oak Burial Park, as a non-sectarian public cemetery, enjoys a professional relationship with all of theCommunity Service Partnersin Greater Victoria.
DON’T FORGET YOUR SURVIVORS…BECAUSE THEY WANT TO REMEMBER YOU…
“Just put me in a burlap sack and toss me into the sea.” … ”Put me in a pine box and burn me.”…”I don’t want a service.” …
How many times have you heard these statements?….Or maybe said something similar yourself?…We hear it every day…and here is what we tell families who think this way…
Often, out of genuine concern for our survivors we want to minimize the burden we will place on them when we die. This thinking often leads to the idea that if we just get cremated, have the ashes scattered and have no kind of remembrance service this will somehow make things easier for everyone. Out of sight, out of mind.
When you die your family, friends, work colleagues and extended social circle will grieve your loss, whether you have a remembrance ceremony or not. But grieving your loss, in a positive and meaningful way that gives everyone closure is the direct result of leaving some form of instructions about a remembrance gathering.
In the past funeral services were almost exclusively held in funeral home chapels or the deceased’s church. For persons of traditional, faith based communities this is still the norm. But this form of service does not reflect every persons lifestyle and belief system.
In today’s diverse society the way we remember our dead has become a highly personalized event. Memorial teas, celebrations of life, balloon releases, garden parties, gathering at a favorite watering hole. Locations are equally diverse; golf clubs, restaurants, home gardens, on the sea shore. Elements of these formal and informal events will include eulogies, video tributes, special music, display of personal items.
Funeral services are no longer mean dimly lit chapels, somber organ music and men in black suits lurking behind the scenes. Today’s remembrance ceremony is what you or your family want it to be, what it should be…An accurate reflection and celebration of your life, your family, your achievements and your beliefs.
Whether your choice is traditional burial, cremation or natural burial – and you can still have your pine box – we strongly recommend that everyone have some form of remembrance service, ceremony, gathering or reception.
If as you live you acknowledge the importance of your family, friends, colleagues and community why would you deny them an opportunity to get together one last time to remember you, to share their common loss and memories, and to say goodbye. Remembrance ceremonies are for the living, not for the dead. They are about giving healthy closure to those you leave behind.
Don’t forget them, because they want to remember you…and say good-bye.