Final Wishes

“… In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”    

Benjamin Franklin

 

People don’t like to think about it, but we all know we are all going to die one day. (Hopefully not anytime soon!)  Most people understand that there are things you need to do to ensure you leave your financial house in order when you pass on.  It might mean writing a will, taking out life insurance, designating beneficiaries etc.  Those are all important things to do, but don’t forget to have…

the talk.”

When a family member of ours passed away a few years ago, I am sure he believed he had checked all the boxes on the death to do list.  The one thing he neglected to do, however, was to talk to the family about his last wishes.

His passing was sudden and unexpected and the entire family was in shock.  They found themselves standing in a funeral home, talking to a funeral director, overwhelmed with the number of choices to make and the finality of those decisions. They wondered what he would have wanted and since they did not know they they were vulnerable to the sales pitch.  It just didn’t feel right to object to the cost things.

 

So they did the best they could and arranged a beautiful funeral, but when it was over and they were alone, they were left with their grief and sticker shock.

Make sure you do what you need to do for the end including sharing your final wishes with your loved ones.  Even if all you say is “I am sure that whatever choices you make will be the right ones.”  It will provide a little bit of comfort, at a time when comfort is hard to come by.

Post Script:  I decided to have “the final wishes talk” with my parents to make sure I understand what they want. My Mom snorted and told me that she could not care less what we do. She even offered that we could back the truck up and roll her body into a ditch somewhere and leave her there.  A scenario I am sure my Dad has fantasized about more than once.

My Dad had put a little more thought into it and told me that he would like to be cremated and we were to scatter his ashes across 4 very distant countries.

I can’t win.  Messy money runs in the family.

This post featured in Friday Jet Fuel # 5 at Money Propeller.
Photo credit: State Library of Victoria Collections

6 Comments


  1. We’ve been thinking about this a lot lately because my grandmother is 85, with terminal cancer. My Dad is trying to organize everything as much as he can while she is still coherent, but I think it will still be difficult to deal with (I mean paperwork wise, of course it will be difficult on emotions).
    Alicia recently posted…Credit Card 2 is GONE!My Profile

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    1. Not always a comfortable subject but i think it can help to know. Thanks for stopping by.

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  2. I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately too, since we just had a death in our family. And she probably thought she was organized, but her paperwork was a mess and we didn’t know much about what sort of funeral she wanted… even though her death was not a shock.

    The cost of the whole thing was like $15,000. It was crazy. It’s a big part of why I’m such a proponent of green burial. Plots are a little pricey at around $2,500, but everything else is much, much cheaper. Especially if you have a home funeral. And the eco-friendliness is awesome too.
    Mel @ brokeGIRLrich recently posted…Feeding Someone in Grief: Tales from the TrenchesMy Profile

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    1. Wow — it amazes me how sometimes the entire internet is on the same page! Appreciate your post (feeding someone in grief). Thanks for stopping by.

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  3. Well – at least you’ve got one cheap parent and one expensive one, to balance out?
    Perhaps I should come up with more specifics, but my spouse and I, and my parents, know that I want to donate as many of my organs as possible and to be cremated.
    This is not a pleasant conversation to bring up, generally, but not too hard to have, really. I don’t think, at least.
    Anne @ Money Propeller recently posted…Friday Jet Fuel #5My Profile

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    1. Not a fun or easy conversation but it really helps to have it. Thanks for stopping by and hosting #jetfuel.

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