Pre-Planning

Why Handle Your Arrangements Ahead of Time?

Let’s be honest. No one likes to think about the inevitable.

It’s uncomfortable. It’s unpleasant. We tend to think, “I’ll have time to think about this later… when I’m in the frame of mind to deal with it.”

And consequently, it’s much easier to put off decisions to another day.

Unfortunately, putting it off until another day usually means that nothing gets decided. It means that discussions with your loved ones never happen. And for many people, the ultimate result is that those left behind don’t have any idea what you really wanted.

We see this every day. Family members – maybe a son or daughter, maybe a sister or brother, or maybe a husband or wife – come in under the worst of circumstances… the loss of a loved one. In a time of tremendous emotional stress, they’re forced to make quick decisions. And those decisions will often be remembered for the rest of their lives.

Now imagine the people you care about most… what if they were able to make their way through their sadness and loss knowing that many of those difficult decisions had already been made? That they knew exactly what Mom or Dad wanted?

Believe me… it takes a tremendous burden off of their shoulders when things have been arranged in advance. And rather than adding significant stress to an already-difficult time, it makes their experience a little bit easier.

Say “I Love You” One Last Time

Here’s what I recommend to people who want to ease the difficulty of loss for their loved ones.

1. Just Get Started.

All the tools you need are here so that you can step through the decisions you need to consider making in advance. Sometimes the most difficult part of the process is simply deciding to get started. Once you do, you’ll feel a lot better.

2. Don’t Over-Think It.

Too many times, people get bogged down in details. There are options to weigh out, but if you allow them to hold you up, you’ll be unlikely to finish the process.

3. Remember Who This is Really For

Planning a funeral or memorial service is an emotional experience. A common emotion people experience may be something along the lines of…

“Don’t spend a lot of money on me… it’s just me.”

But in reality, when your loved ones gather to celebrate your life, the time they spend together and the memories they take away from the experience are really for them. Items they take away and keep in their homes after you’re gone aren’t for you – after all, you’ll be gone!

How much you spend and what you spend it on is a very personal decision – and one best handled by someone not smothered by grief.

4. Talk It Over

The biggest difficulty we encounter when helping those who are grieving arises when there’s been no communication. Now is the time to take a look at some of the decisions that will need to be made, and then talk to those you may leave behind about them.

As you look through the information we’ve put together for you here, you’ll find tools you can use to help facilitate some of that communication.

Rather than avoiding or denying the fact that the day will eventually come, even spending a little time communicating goes a long way toward easing the burdens of your loved ones.

And we’ve given you and those you love a way to evaluate some of these decisions in the comfort of your own home – or in any home… wherever that may be.

5. Take Your Time

We understand that there are situations where time is short. Most people, however, have no need to be rushed in making arrangements. You don’t want to get started and never complete the process, of course, but don’t feel the need to plow through these decisions so quickly that it becomes unnecessarily stressful.

6. Focus on the Big Things

There may be dozens of tiny little decisions that you could think about. The most important thing you can do to ease the stress on your loved ones, however, is just to get the big items and decisions out of the way.

The smaller decisions can be handled much more easily during a time of loss. It’s the big decisions that add the most stress and can really be a source of sadness to the ones you love when they get beyond the initial stages of grief and begin to second-guess themselves.

Knowing that they had communicated with you, or that somewhere your thoughts and wishes had been written out in advance can mean all the difference between looking back on your funeral or memorial service with great regret or with great joy.

7. Get Your Questions Answered

Thinking this through in advance nearly always leads to a lot of questions. This is perfectly normal. In fact, most people don’t typically know what questions to ask until they get into the process.

My team and I are here for you. You may find that many of your questions are answered here on our website. We’ve worked to try to provide as much information as possible for you and to make it easy for you to use.

But most importantly, we want you to know that you can pick up the phone any time and talk with us. We would be privileged to be of service to you and listen to your questions and concerns and provide as much help as we possibly can. You can reach us at (941) 926-2223

And of course, if you’re able and would like to, you’re welcome to come by and see us at any point in time – whether you’ve looked through the website or not. Our state of the art facility is unique in the industry for giving you the best help in making decisions. We invite you to stop by and let us show you why.

Jennings Cares

Jennings Funeral Home & Crematory
5750 Swift Road, Sarasota, FL 34231

941-926-2223

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