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