As I type this post, I gather my thoughts and make a final mental “test run” for the day ahead.
I will have the privilege of speaking to a group of 16 people who have made the brave first step toward facing their own mortality, by agreeing to attend our Lunch and Learn event.
Some of these folks have never had to plan a funeral for anyone else before, much less “throw their own party”. Some of them are fearing the decisions they will face.
Cremation or burial, sure, but the deeper ones … who will be left behind, to carry things out? Who can I trust to see them through such a difficult day? Who will come to my funeral? What if no one shows up? How about the obituary…what will they say about me?
Oh and the expense! Who will write the check, and will my family know I don’t want them to spend too much?
Some of these folks have no way to pay ahead, or so they think. “I’d love to prepay my funeral like my neighbor Jane did, but her husband left her plenty of money. My Jim worked so hard, but his end of life care really put a strain on our life savings, and our son has been struggling ever since his divorce … I had to step in for the sake of the grandkids, and now I’m not sure where the money will come from …”
Maybe today they will be relieved to hear the news that affordable payment plans are available for as little as $65 per month.
Some yet are being bombarded with advertising messages about “$995 cremation” and getting reports from their card club that this is the “way to go”…”why spend money that will just go in the ground anyway?”
And my personal favorite … “If they want to see me, come see me when I’m alive, not after I’m dead!”
I predict, from the brief phone confirmation conversations I had yesterday (to make sure everyone was still planning to attend – “It’s important that you let us know if your plans change because we have people on a waiting list”) … that there are a good number of folks who our funeral home has never served before.
Some that we surely might otherwise miss the opportunity to serve without an active program that includes these learning opportunities.
I look forward to days like today, because it presents a real opportunity to hear what people are thinking and feeling about our profession.
After all, how can we grow and improve without such vital information, from those who have so much to share?
Yours in service,
Epilogue Planning Professionals