It is hard when one of your parents has a terminal illness. I think it is even harder when they are single. The children have to step up and I find I have taken on a lot of the worries, resposibilities and stresses that the spouse would normally have. Such things as taking my mom to appointments, making sure she has her medication, cleaning her house when she is sick. Making sure she is not alone for too long so that she does not get depressed and taking care of her when she is sick. I gladly sign up for these responsibilities but it does wear on a person after awhile.
Another responsibility that the children have is planning a funeral. This has been on my mind a lot since my mom got sick. We discussed it briefly, but found that my mom, brother and I were not on the same page. I discussed this with Mark and we left it at that.
Then one day Mark came home from one of his business networking meetings and that morning a lady from Hillcrest Memorial had given a presentation about pre-planning your funeral. Mark said that there are so many options available and we should meet with her. I thought this was a good idea.
I had a hard time bringing it up with my mom and bro that we should meet her. I think because it is awkward and not fun and the realization that this is going to happen. However, the spin on it is that my mom is currently healthy and I would rather make arrangements now as to when she is on her death bed and we are all super emotional. Plus, then we could make arrangements that we all could be comfortable with.
The meeting went really well. No one cried! I was close when we went into the room where you view the body and they were explaining how sometime you use the bed that was on display because children are not as scared to see someone lying in a bed as opposed to a coffin. I instantly thought of Karter and it made me really, really sad, but I pushed through.
After that they took us to the celebration room. All three of us instantly felt relaxed. As this is what my mom wants is a celebration not a funeral. It is a beautiful, welcoming room.
Overall it was the best experience that it could have been. The staff are awesome and the grounds are breathtaking. It made it all worth it when my mom said "I feel at peace here".
This experience has definitely made me think about pre-planning my own funeral. I don't want my family to think "well, would she have wanted to be buried or cremated", a church funeral or celebration. There is enough emotion going on that it will be nice that it is all planned out in advance. That was one of the things they said also is that people spend more when things aren't planned out in advance. And I don't want my family to have to worry about the cost. The nice thing about pre-arranging is that you can lock in the costs now of the funeral service and burial site and make payments as small as $50/month.
My grandmothers funeral was pre-arranged and it was so nice for the family not to have to make all the arrangements and we could just grieve and remember her. And there was comfort in knowing this is what she wanted.
Anyway, enough about the hard stuff. Have a good weekend :)