As we approach the holiday season, and our thoughts start to think about gifts and taxes and winter and future, we also must think ahead as to the future we have, or as it turns out, not have. Last year. I wrote an article about the funeral industry and how they are offering “Pre-Need” programs allowing people to purchase and plan ahead, so they pay today’s prices in the future. This allows them to plan ahead and make the choices they want and to ensure that their loved ones will not have t make these choices at a time when they are the most vulnerable. I am repeating this story with the addition of another form of “pre-need”, cremation! While this is a topic that many choose to put off, it is one that should be recognized as of great import. Probably one of the greatest gifts a parent can give their children is to have taken care of all of this well before the time of need.
As the years roll by, we often think about the future. When we are young, we have a whole lifetime, so putting things off is normal. But when tragedy strikes a family, and all “hell breaks loose”, wouldn’t it be better if we had planned ahead? As a young man, I lost my Father and my brother within months of each other. My dad was 54 and my brother a mere 32. Neither of them had Pre-Planned for this event. Let’s face it. We all know that having a funeral is a life event that will take place, but who knows when and where?
Having a Pre-planned funeral may sound eerie, but think of this. When a sudden death takes place with no cemetery plot, no Pre-planning etc, your family is left to jump through hoops and make quick choices. Choices that may not have been the ideal or ones that you would even have considered. By having a Pre-planned funeral, you will be making life easier on those you already have to adjust to no longer having you around-
The arrangements will all be done. They will have a clear direction of what you wanted (and could afford) and what’s more, the costs will be determined by today’s prices instead of what it might cost years later. That takes care of the financial aspect. The emotional impact on a family is another part of the equation and having it all neat and tidy will help ease the burden and the emotional well being of those you are leaving behind.
One of the funeral Directors that I have been fortunate enough to have dealt with over the years is David Jacobson, founder of Chicago Jewish Funerals with chapels in Skokie and Buffalo Grove. Back in the late 1990’s, when big corporations were buying up funeral parlors and merging them. David was one that felt that he did not want to lose the personal touch that he had learned from those who taught him the business and so he started Chicago Jewish Funerals. His comitment to the Jewish Community that he serves is part of the reason for their growth. It is his belief that his staff must always exceed the expectations of the families they serve, from start to finish. That they do!
Of course, every Funeral Home has the pre-planned Funeral option and is ready and willing to help you prepare so that your family will have the ease of facing one of the hardest life events we ever face. I know that Catholic Cemeteries works in the same personalized way as David and his staff. My personal dealings with David and Chicago Jewish Funerals is why I am telling you about them. They have been a rock for those who have needed them.
If you want more information, it is available by checking their website www.chicagojewishfunerals.com or by calling 847-229-8822. They also have a non-religious pamphlet “Respect my Wishes” on their site which can be downloaded and serve as a guide to getting organized for your family. For Catholic Cemeteries, call 708-236-5440 or visit www.cathcemchgo
I am sure they will assist you if there is another affiliation that you are seeking. Tell them you learned about them at “Around The town” and for you and your loved ones, treat this as THE resolution you WILL keep!
Since writing this article. many of us have learned that there is indeed another alternative- Cremation!. This is now being accepted in many of the faiths that in the past shied away from this way of dealing with one’s final destiny. The world does change and so do people. With change comes acceptance and with time, we have seen that burial costs as well as funeral costs have raised to new heights. Land is not as plentiful as it once was and so the cost of a funeral plot has risen dramatically. A funeral can cost over $6,000 with very little trimmings. That is why cremation has become the alternative. While one can have a fancy ceremony with the casket and the viewings and the funeral parlor, it is what is called the “simple cremation” that makes the most sense.
A Simple cremation can also be purchased in what is termed a “Pre-need” package. This allows one to ensure that their wishes will be carried out as they want it done, and that their loved ones will only need to make a call and everything will be done to the specifications that they wanted. One of these packages can cost about one third (or lower) than a funeral, allowing the family to use the extra dollars for a celebration of life instead of a 6 foot x 3 foot piece of property.. They even offer a program that allows for a traveler (or snow bird) to be covered no matter where they are at the time of need. This may be something to consider in order to protect your loved ones from the stress of not being sure what you want at that time. In fact, most companies gives each of its “members” a book where they can document everything they want done and everything they own, as well as write their own obituary and list their insurance policies. The world has matured and people are now thinking ahead to make life and death easier.