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My Funeral-As I Would Want It-How To Decide What is Right For You And Make Your Arrangements Be Known

Updated on May 10, 2012

What I Want Written On My Headstone


Everyone Dies Sometime

©LaDena Campbell 2012 aka justateacher

In the last year and a half I have helped plan two funerals. The first was for my mother, the second was for her brother, my Uncle Wayne. Mom made things easy. Uncle Wayne, on the other hand, made things pretty difficult.

My mom made things easy because, years before, she had pre-planned and prepaid her funeral. Everything was ready. She had her casket picked out, her cemetery plot paid for, her headstone picked out and paid for, and had even written out what songs she wanted played at her funeral. The only thing we really had to do to finish planning for her funeral was to go to the mortuary and finalize all of her plans.

Uncle Wayne had the mistaken belief that since he was a Vietnam veteran, his funeral was all paid for. He believed that he had a cemetery plot at a nearby veteran’s cemetery. He knew he would get a headstone for his time in the service. When he passed, we all found out the truth. Nothing was paid for and nothing was planned. It made things difficult because my sisters and I argued with my cousin trying to decide what Uncle Wayne would want and how things would be paid for. We finally got it all figured out – even though I wasn’t completely happy with some of the decisions, it all turned out pretty well.

I have decided that I will be more like my mom. I want my funeral planned and paid for before I ever need it. I talked to the mortuary we had used for both my mom and my uncle and talked about a pre-need contract. I have life insurance through my job that can pay for everything, so no one will have to worry about that. I have picked out a casket and know the cemetery where I want to buried. I have chosen a pattern for a headstone I would like. Now, I just need to let my family know that I have done this and let them know about what songs I would like.

In my imagination, my funeral service will take place in a small church in the middle of nowhere...the church of a town that no longer exists. People will talk about me and what they loved about me. Hopefully, my husband will tell the funny story about how I nearly killed him by cooking a homemade meal on our second date. My daughters and son will tell about how much I loved them and my grandchildren. Maybe former students will come to talk about the influence I had on their lives. Sometime during the service, they will play Amazing Grace. It has always been my favorite hymn and I love all of the different versions of it. When I die, there will be some popular country song that I love and talks about dealing with the loss of someone you love. There is always one, and I would like that played, as well.

The burial itself will take place just down the road from the church in a small cemetery. My husband has generations of his family buried there. I know my sisters and brothers will wonder why I decided on this particular cemetery and not the one my mom and uncle are buried in, or the one my dad is buried in. But I like this one. It is quiet and peaceful and far away from hustle and bustle of the city. And I know my husband will want to buried there and I want to be near him.

There will be a gathering afterwards. Everyone I have left behind will get together and think happy thoughts and try not to be down. Relatives that only get together for weddings and funerals will reminisce about days gone by. At some point, I would like balloons to be released, each one with a memory of me written on it. Sounds kind of arrogant or something, but that is what I would like.

I will let my family know of my plans. It’s tough when you lose someone you love. I want to make things just a little easier for the ones I leave behind.


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    • justateacher profile imageAUTHOR

      LaDena Campbell 

      6 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz...

      moonlake - I think everyone hates funerals! It's good that you let your family know your wishes! Thanks for the vote and the read!

    • moonlake profile image


      6 years ago from America

      I have told my kids and husband I want to be buried in a cemetery, no cremation and a closed casket. I really don't want a big funeral service. I hate funerals. I want just my kids and husband there to see me, close the casket put me in the ground. If they feel they should have something later on they can.

      Good information. Voted Up.

    • KrystalD profile image


      6 years ago from Los Angeles

      I love this hub and I agree that leaving a plan is the most caring thing we can do for our loved ones. Nothing was more difficult than trying to pay for and plan my father's funeral under the dark fog of grief! I hope others read this hub and are inspired to leave some well planned arrangements! Thank you for SHARING!

    • jeyaramd profile image


      6 years ago from Mississauga, Ontario

      Voted up and shared. I just wrote a hub about moving forward after losing a loved one. I just had to visit this hub. My mother pre-planned her funeral as well. Although, we had a hard time accepting things. She was very strong. Its beautiful when people think past their own passing. I think it shows the quality of eternal love. Its not just in the now. Its forever. Thanks for sharing.

    • jeyaramd profile image


      6 years ago from Mississauga, Ontario

      That is says a lot to your children. It sends them the right message for life. I learned the same way so I can understand the importance. I have also seen children argue after the passing of a parent. And, it creates major problems down the road among siblings. Its best to keep things simple, by stating your wishes. I wish more people took that route. Its more of a need to do than anything else. Thank you for sharing your experience. I am sure it will raise awareness. Thanks again.

    • justateacher profile imageAUTHOR

      LaDena Campbell 

      6 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz...

      Thank your for your kind comments jeyaramd! I did write this after dealing with my uncle's funeral. My cousin paid for the funeral, but we didn't know what he wanted - from the burial itself (cremation or burial?) to the cemetery to the service - we all had to guess about what he would want and argued a little about it all in hopes that we were doing the right thing, In the end we all agreed, but still weren't sure if it was what he would have wanted. I do not want my children to have to worry about all of this so I will have it all prepared.

    • jeyaramd profile image


      6 years ago from Mississauga, Ontario

      Thank you for sharing. We definitely should plan our funerals. Its a great burden for family members who are in grief and also have to worry about doing the right thing. They may likely spend more money thinking that this is what you want. Its hard to judge for your own mother. No matter how close you are. Its best we let them do the thinking. It will also give us the satisfaction of knowing that we did the right thing. Planning a will is just as important. Thanks for sharing this hub.

    • -Crimmy- profile image


      6 years ago

      People aren't very keen on speaking about this subject; I'm glad that someone has finally addressed it. No one enjoys thinking about the passing of a loved one, but for the sake of your family and financial state, it really is best to plan ahead. Nicely done, Voted up.

    • Lord De Cross profile image

      Joseph De Cross 

      6 years ago from New York

      Dear! you know what? I feel that 2012 will be aq better year for you and family. Not sure why..but changes will come your way. Take care and good night!

    • justateacher profile imageAUTHOR

      LaDena Campbell 

      6 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz...

      Thanks for stopping by, Lord! I always enjoy your comments!

    • Lord De Cross profile image

      Joseph De Cross 

      6 years ago from New York

      Yay! Justateacher, you did say lots of things that are real..down to earth and unfortunately, we will have to depart like any child who always will grow and leave. We will have to think about this subject seriously.

      Thanks for the personal and intense. God bless you my friend!


    • arusho profile image


      6 years ago from University Place, Wa.

      This is a great hub. I don't even know if my mom and dad have a plan. I will put that at the top of my list to check with them, even though they won't like to talk about it. My husband and I would like to be cremated and our ashes sprinkled at Paradise on Mt. Rainier. But, nobody knows, so I guess we should have a plan too. I never thought about having to plan the funeral, pay for cremation or burial all the while dealing with the loss of a parent. Good information and heartfelt.

    • Cogerson profile image


      6 years ago from Virginia

      Sounds like you have a plan. When my uncle passed away, he had everything worked out so that his kids did not have to make any decisions. Which made their grief much easier to live with when the entire funeral process was 100% taken care of by my uncle. When my father passed away unexpectedly, my mom and I were pretty much in a state of shock and had to make all the decisions while being in that state. Nice and useful hub.

    • Spirit Whisperer profile image

      Xavier Nathan 

      6 years ago from Isle of Man

      It is a shame that death is linked so closely to money. But that is the reality most people in the west especially, deal with. I see the body as a coat we wear and death is just time for us to take off the coat. The coat can be buried in the ground or burned or dropped into the sea. It matters not because we are mourning a coat not the essence of the person who wore it. When I die I want people to realise that the body I leave behind is not me but a coat I wore in this life and I will probably don many more as I keep coming back to learn all the lessons that life needs to teach me. Thank you.


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