Friday, April 15, 2016


     Sometimes the bereaved tend to go through stages that parallel those of the dying person.  This can take place both before and after the death of a loved one.  That is, those close to a dying person may pass through some form of denial as soon as they learn the person has a terminal disease.  "It can't be so, it can't be true that my husband is dying"  Then comes anger - at oneself, at the dying person, at the doctor, at the Fates.  There is also bargaining.  "Just give him a little more time, God." Then depression.  "I can't go on without him if he dies".  Finally - acceptance.
     After death the same stages present themselves also, although often in random patterns.  Denial is there, and certainly anger and depression.  Though it is too late for bargaining, that too may appear.  However, in the end, most people arrive at acceptance.  Just as it is healthy for a dying person to work through these stages, so it is for the survivors.

Monday, April 4, 2016


Not surprisingly, the emotional support we can bring a dying person is similar to those the living thrive on: compassion, patience, sincerity, and an honest interest in the person's welfare, thought, feelings, and opinions. Above all, you need to show faithfulness and perseverance - the promises that you will be there to the end. In this regard, it is often considered a helpful practice somewhere along the way to tell the dying person this quite directly: that you won't run out, that you can be depended on.
Basically, there are only two ways we can make a dying person comfortable: by assuring physical comfort; and by assuring psychological comfort. The former is fairly straight forward; the latter is a more subtle process. It is met only by constantly recalling the fact that someday the dying person in the bed will be you, and that every kindness you would wish for and need then, the patient wishes for and needs now.

Friday, March 25, 2016


    There are many different reasons for prearranging a funeral.  Some persons, especially those who are alone in the world, may want the assurance of a funeral and burial which meet their personal beliefs, standards, or lifestyle.  Others feel a responsibility to assist survivors by arranging approximate funeral and burial cost guidelines.  Others may have moved to distant places or maintain both summer and winter residences.  They may want to make sure that certain recommendations are heeded as to where the funeral and burial or other final dispositions will take place.
     There are as many explanations for prearranging funerals as there are people requesting them.  A few key considerations in preplanning may assist most people:  Take into account the possible effect on survivors.  If you are unsure, share your plans with them in advance.  Approach realistically the logic and economics of planning now for what might not take place for many years.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016


     Contrary to what you may think, a funeral is for the living.  The deceased will never know what transpires, but it can be a source of great comfort to the deceased's relatives and friends.  It can be the first step on the road of recovery from grief.  After all, involvement in a funeral is a form of mourning.  It provides opportunities to mourn the loss of a loved one or friend in the presence of others who also will mourn the loss.  It gives one a time when family and friends can share stories about the deceased - even funny ones that may lighten the atmosphere with laughter.
     In talking with friends before or after the ceremony, one is likely to learn new things about this person who was important in life.  When friends or loved ones part in daily life, they usually say good-bye.  If they part without saying good-bye, and uncomfortable feeling usually ensures.  Saying good-bye is a way of saying, "I care about you" and funerals are occasions for saying good-bye.

Monday, March 14, 2016


     Funeral homes may offer funeral packages.  These are usually well thought out, all inclusive, and economical.  However, just because you are offered a choice of these packages that does not mean you have to choose one of them.
     It is possible to custom tailor a funeral to perfectly suit a person's need and desires.  Without scandalizing the community - or breaking the law - you can have almost any type of funeral you desire.
     Most funeral directors are both flexible and open-minded.  In pre-planning a funeral, it makes good sense to talk at leisure with a funeral director and express your preferences.  You are not only
interested in good service at a good price, but in working with a funeral director with whom you feel comfortable.  If you are going to be at all creative in pre-planning a funeral, being able to collaborate is an important consideration

Monday, March 7, 2016

Plan It Yourself

     Remember the old saw:  If you want to do something right, do it yourself.  Well if you want to make sure you get the funeral or cremation option you want, from the best funeral director, at the best price, you'd better do it yourself in advance rather than leave it to survivors later.
     The first thing to do is to decide what type of funeral or cremation option you prefer: large, small, simple, lavish, religious or nondenominational.  You can decide what type ceremony you want, and where your remains are to be laid.  You can even decide which people you want to attend.
     Then decide which funeral home you wish to carry our your wishes.  Talk things over with the funeral director.  Find out if he or she is amenable to your wishes; and work out the details.  Then get everything down in writing.  Copies should be kept in a safe place where family members can quickly find them quickly and another should be kept on file at the funeral home.
     If it is your desire, you can even prepay your services and merchandise.  By prepaying for your services in advance you freeze the costs at today's prices and take a financial burden off of your family in the future.  Prepaid funeral arrangements are regulated by the Texas Department of Banking.  You may find additional information by visiting their website at

Monday, February 29, 2016


     There are two good rules for making funeral arrangements.
     Rule One:   Know what you are getting.  There are so many details involved in a funeral that you may be unclear about everything you have discussed with the funeral director.  An itemized list should  be provided of everything included in the funeral - along with prices.  That way you can be sure of what you will be getting, make changes if necessary, and know how much it will all cost.
     Rule Two:  Get what you want.  You probably have a good idea of what kind of funeral or memorial you want before you even discuss these matters with a funeral director.  He or she may have some valuable and practical suggestions and you should certainly be open to these  However, you do not want to be influenced into making decisions you will regret later.  If you want a simple, but elegant funeral or if cost is a consideration, do not contract for a funeral which is elaborate and expensive.  Your funeral director will discuss all the options available to you.