Till death do us part. Those are the vows that we hear at weddings. But what do they really mean to each of us? We get married, have families, create memories, and hardly ever give that simple phrase another thought. Until the day comes that a doctor tells us devastating news, or a tragic accident happens that is beyond imaginable.
When those events occur, our minds are in a whirlwind. Our spouse or children, family and friends have many decisions to make, without having any knowledge or input of how we wanted our funeral to go. This causes even more of a burden on families as they sit with a funeral director and try to make over 75-125 decisions based on what “they think” is the correct one.
Imagine making that many decisions all while dealing with the grief of losing your loved one. This causes confusion and un-needed worry of “Am I making the right decision? Is this what he/she would have wanted?”
Add to that, each one of your children may have different thoughts and feelings on what they think you would want. This causes tension in an already distraught environment. Put all of this together and once the funeral is over, you have a grieving spouse, child, loved one who then starts to wonder and have undue guilt thinking if they did right by your unspoken wishes.
You may even leave behind a family that is no longer talking to each other because of the differences in opinion that occurred at the funeral home. The trauma and stress this causes only hurts those we love, and it prevents them from moving forward through their grief journey.
Although none of us want to think about the day our family is grieving our loss, we can all help alleviate the emotional burden and talk about what our final wishes are to those we love.
So rather than waiting, give it a thought, have that difficult conversation and wrap your arms around your family. It’s one of the last acts of love you can give them.
Lavern & Ronda Nissley are co-directors of Encompass. Married since 1978, both enjoy coffee, riding their tandem bicycle and working together to build strong relationships.