In my quiet moments, lately, my thoughts have turned to my own mortality. I’ve pondered on this a lot since my son, James, died this past March, but recently I’ve become aware of some things I would and wouldn’t like, given the choice, after my passing.
I do not, for example, want to leave the difficult decisions, reguarding my final arrangements to my grieving family, both for my own peace of mind AND theirs. So many family members have different thoughts about the process than I do, I want to make my own wishes known long before they’re faced with it all.
I had a fight on my hands, when James died, reguarding cremation vs. burial. Thankfully, he had made his wishes known to me, on more than one occasion, and I was able to resist the pressure to have his remains cremated and be done with it. I chose to have him buried in a plot adjoining the plot where we laid his brother to rest in 2004 and I’m at peace with that decision.
One thing I DID wrestle with was whether or not to have his body embalmed. I ended up choosing a less toxic embalming method but only because his children needed to see their dad one last time to say goodbye. If a body isn’t embalmed, in Florida, no viewing is possible due to the natural processes after death.
It may be silly, but I share my son’s horror of cremation. I want to be planted, with as little pomp and circumstance as possible, in a burial shroud or plain pine box, without chemical preservation and on my own property. I have recently found out that it’s possible to have your property designated as a family cemetery and written into your deed so I’m going to be pursuing that.
I really have little, besides my house and property, in terms of material things, but there are little keepsakes I’d like various folks to have without the worry of in-fighting and greed taking it’s toll when I’m gone. Death seems to bring out either the best OR the worst with very little middle ground, in the average family, so I’d like to do my bit to prevent it if possible.
Having your final arrangements in place and making your wishes known also prevents your family from becoming victims to unscrupulous funeral directors, as well.
Thankfully, the funeral home that took care of my son’s arrangements, I feel, truly took our fragile emotional state into consideration, but there are those who do not and make a practice of preying on families during the worst times of their lives.
If you feel that you’ve been taken advantage of or abused, in any way, during a time of emotional upheaval, thankfully, these days you do have recourse. Don’t hesitate to contact an attorney or solicitor, like Pryers Solicitors with your concerns. They can help guide you, and in doing so, put you on the path of healing and learning to live again.