No one ever wants to hear the words “terminal cancer” in their diagnosis. However, each year, nearly 8 million people are hearing just that. If you are dealing with a terminal cancer diagnosis yourself, here are some ways to deal with the impending costs:
Don’t Be Afraid to Talk About Death
Facing your own mortality is not a simple task. Asking your friends and loved ones to face the truth can be even harder. However, if you want to protect your loved ones you have to begin having conversations now, including talking about your final expenses. Final expense insurance can offer some peace of mind to you during this difficult journey by covering expenses related to funeral costs, medical bills, and legal fees. That little bit of extra coverage can be priceless when it comes to protecting your family from handling those costs on their own.
Check on Your Life Insurance Coverage
Investing in final expense insurance is a good way to add financial protection for your family. To cover other expenses, such as leftover credit card bills and other debts, however, you will want
to take a look at any life insurance coverage you currently have and make sure your beneficiaries are up to date. If you’ve signed up for a life insurance policy before your diagnosis, make sure the payout will be enough to cover any leftover expenses. If you are the primary provider for your family, you’ll need to ensure their living expenses will be covered as well. Having life insurance can even provide cash for unexpected medical bills or expenses.
Speak with an Estate Planning Attorney
The process of sorting through finances at the end of life is never simple. Not following simple but often overlooked legal rules can cause your estate to go to court. This can delay any funds getting to your family and leave them with unnecessary legal fees. This is why meeting with an estate attorney is a step you need to take now. An estate attorney can advise you as to how accounts should be set up and what measures need to be in place to ensure your estate is administered without delay. You can also talk about the tax considerations your family may have to deal with and how to best prepare without adding more financial stress.
Plan Out Your Palliative Care Now
It can be tricky for loved ones to make objective decisions when it comes to palliative care. The truth is that you will be able to make the best decisions when it comes to your care and what costs your family can bear. Laying out advance care plans when you are still feeling well enough to make decisions is the best way to make sure your medical care wishes are honored. You may want to consult your medical providers and spiritual leaders to decide what extent of care you feel comfortable with as your journey progresses. Also, be sure to have a conversation with your loved ones so that they know what to expect when difficult times arise.
Learn About Your Financial Options
As you are dealing with a terminal illness, you may also find yourself dealing with financial hardships. If you are unable to work or need in-home daily care, you may be left with bills and expenses you simply cannot cover on your own. It may come as a relief to know that there are financial assistance programs that can help. Many cancer-related non-profits and other organizations may be able to offer some financial aid to those diagnosed with cancer. You can talk to your medical provider to see what options may be available to help you and your loved ones find financial support.
You no doubt have a lot on your mind in this moment, but completing financial steps now will save you stress in the days to come. Taking the time to focus on planning is a good way to allow yourself and your family to focus on making the most of the time you do have left together.
Scott Sanders is the creator of CancerWell.org, which provides resources and support for anyone who has been affected by any form of cancer. He is also the author of the book Put Yourself First: A Guide to Self-care and Spiritual Wellness During and After Cancer Treatment.
Photo Credit: www.Unsplash.com
Photographer: Ben White @benwhitephotography
Angel & Dove is an up and coming contemporary creative funeral goods supplier based out of London. I recently had the honor of receiving and reviewing many of their top-selling products (see YouTube video which is shared above) and I am so excited to share them with you all. Below is a list of all of the goods discussed in my review along with their corresponding prices. Should you decide to purchase from Angel & Dove be sure to use the coupon code THEGRAVEWOMAN at check out for an exclusive 10% discount. Discount redeemable on Angel & Dove's website and Etsy ONLY.
I have listed direct links for each product for both the supplier's website and Amazon.
*** Please be advised that the items on the suppliers' website are priced in Euros. I used the google currency converter to translate the Euros to dollars on October 4th, 2018. The value of the Euro as it correlates to the dollar may have increased or decreased since this time reflecting a change in the prices shown vs. the prices on the Angel and Dove website at your time of purchase. This difference should not be largely significant and only reflect a few cents. ***
1. Remembrance Balloons (Amazon link below prices may differ)
$11.49 for 25 or $4.59 for 10 Plus International S&H
Balloon Message Tags
You Are Loved, Missed, Remembered
Forever In Our Hearts
You Left Your Pawprint on Our Hearts
Celebration of Life
2. In Loving Memory" Printed Natural Cotton Ribbon
Starting At $4.59
3. Share A Memory Remembrance Cards With Blush Wildflower Design
$8.04 for 25
4. My Special Memory of You Luxury White Textured Funeral Remembrance Cards
$6.89 for 25 (Amazon link below prices may differ)
Amazon Link https://amzn.to/2xXGhJa
5. Unfilled Seed Funeral Favours (Amazon link below prices may differ)
Starting at $6.89 for 25
Forget Me Nots https://amzn.to/2ycW0TR
Plant These Seeds and Grow Happy Memories https://amzn.to/2NpRPts
6. In Loving Memory Gift Boxed Funeral Remembrance Candle $22.99 each
7. Funeral Tissue Wraps (Amazon link below prices may differ)
$10.34 for 25
8. Share A Memory Ballpoint Pen
Price Not Available Yet
Will be available for purchase soon.
9. Luxury Memory Book & 2 Sign Set for Funeral Memory Table (Amazon link below prices may differ)
$26.44 for the Set
$20.69 for Memory Book Only
Ivory Memory Table 2 Sign Set https://amzn.to/2y3BYvT
Black Memory Table 2 Sign Set https://amzn.to/2NjVbhK
Ivory (L)12x8 Memory Book & 2 Sign Set https://amzn.to/2O867Ek
Ivory (M) 8x6 Memory Book & 2 Sign Set https://amzn.to/2O3PGJ6
Ivory Baby Loss Memory Book https://amzn.to/2OGThfE
Black (L)12x8 Memory Book https://amzn.to/2y3C1YB
Black (M)8x6 Memory Book https://amzn.to/2DXtlsj
10. Memory Tree Collection
$26.44 for Wooden Memory Tree, 25 Message Tags, Card Sign & Silver Pen
Kraft Memory Tree Tags and String
$8.04 for 25
How To Purchase
Angel & Dove products can be purchased online directly from their website wwww.angelanddove.com . Purchases can also be made through Amazon or Etsy for US customers, domestic S&H rates apply and orders take 2-3 days to arrive once for both international and domestic S&H. Don't forget to use the coupon code THEGRAVEWOMAN at check out for an exclusive 10% discount. Discount redeemable on Angel & Dove's website and Etsy ONLY.
Thank you for watching. Please be sure to SUBSCRIBE, like this video and share.
10/3/2018 0 Comments
I had the pleasure of speaking with Mrs. Noor Abbady about her personal, cultural, and religious perspectives of death and dying. Noor is a practicing Muslim who holds her cultural and religious beliefs near and dear to her heart. During our discussion, I had the honor of not only learning about she and her family but also learned so much about the Islamic culture.
“Celestis is the only company to have successfully conducted Memorial Spaceflight missions.” 🚀
Close your eyes and imagine that you are at your funeral or memorial service. Instead of the expected sniffling of noses and tearful eulogies you hear your friends and family counting down 5,4,3,2,1 finally erupting in BLAST OFF!!!!!!!!! In the distance a rocket takes flight into the sky propelling towards the heavens as your friends and family yell your name, cry tears of pure joy and excitement while cheering and high fiving one another expressing joy as your cremated remains exit earths atmosphere. This is a Celestis Memorial Spaceflight.
I originally learned of Celestis Memorial Spaceflights when researching alternatives to traditional funeral and burial options. I knew that this was something that needed to be offered to the families that I serve but not without firstly witnessing and experiencing it myself. This past weekend I had the honor of doing just that. I packed my bags, booked a flight and hit the road so to speak traveling across the country to Spaceport America, New Mexico. There, I got to attend and witness Celestis' 15th Memorial Spaceflight. While there I also got to meet, interview and get know many of the families memorializing loved ones in this unique way. It was totally worth the trip. I have never attended a service or memorial where there was such a sense of excitement and an energy of anticipation.
As a funeral director I have attended countless services and can say without a doubt that this one of a kind service truly is like nothing I have ever experiences. Complete strangers from around the world gathered together in one place for one reason sharing one very intimate connection; honoring the final wishes, passions or life work of someone that they loved who has passed away. Though Celestis did an amazing job keeping everyone busy and involved through activities like the post-registration start party, tour of the launchpad along with Spaceport America and the beautifully moving memorial service; the most amazing part of this entire experience was the time I got to spend with the families and loved ones of those on board the rocket.
Hearing how important it was to them to honor their loved ones in this way because of their love for space, careers in aerospace, or desire to one day go beyond the sky into the heavens solidified the importance and power of this service and the effects on the families who made the choice to honor their deceased loved ones in the non-traditional and alternative way. The families and friends of those being blasted off into space spanned across a diverse variety of backgrounds, occupations and lifestyles.
Celestis has truly designed a unique and one of kind experience. They are also surprisingly affordable. With service pricing starting at less than or equal to what is paid on average for a single cemetery space ($1,499.00) traveling to space is a reality for just about everyone even only if in death. It is my hope that by sharing what I witnessed and experienced this past weekend that someone seeking a perfectly fitting method of disposition for their loved one is given a new choice. To learn more about Celestis Memorial Spaceflights please feel free to send me your questions or contact Celestis directly. Please be sure to tell them that Joe'l "The Grave Woman" sent you.
I am so excited that I can FINALLY share this amazing news with you all! First things first, I would like to share that I am an official Celestis distributor. “Celestis is the only company to have successfully conducted Memorial Spaceflight missions.”
This past weekend I had the honor of traveling to Truth or Consequences, New Mexico attending the 15th Spaceflight Memorial hosted by Celestis. In addition to spending this weekend with Celestis I had the opportunity to spend time with and interview many of the family members of those being memorialized.
This entire experience was just unbelievable and I can not wait to share it with you all! If you have any questions about Spaceflight Memorials please do not not hesitate to ask me or feel free to contact Celestis directly. Be sure to tell them that Joe'l "The Grave Woman" sent you.
We are all in a never-ending cycle of transition called Life. These transitions take on many faces and have both drastic and sometimes unnoticed subconscious effects on our mental, physical, emotional and spiritual lives. Grief, the experience of loss, is the most intense of these experiences. Unfortunately, in our society, we isolate the word “grief” to a sole association with death. The truth is that grief is defined as the emotional response to a loss of ANY kind.
In order to smoothly flow through life, it is vital that we begin to identify grief as an experience that is not limited to the physical and biological death. As human beings we are constantly experiencing growth which in turn means that we are constantly experiencing loss. When experiencing a loss that is not connected to the death of a loved one, we as individuals need to give ourselves permission to grieve. Many times, we are unaware that we are even grieving due to our society’s limited view of death and grief, in combination with our very own ignorance.
In this blog we will explore 3 of the most common grief experiences that are not death related.
Whether romantic or platonic, the truth is that sometimes relationships just don’t work out. Severing meaningful ties to a partner, friend or family member can be a very painful experience. The emotional ups and downs along with the mental back and forth surrounding the details of a separation can be exhausting and draining. Learning to move forward without that relationship in our lives is a challenge. No longer communicating or being to communicate the same with someone with whom we were once close can be as painful as experiencing the grief associated with loosing them to death if not worst.
Most of us spend the majority of our lives perusing and navigating through the career circuit. The average person begins working some kind of job between the ages of 16-18 and does not retire until at least the age of 62. Throughout this time in the work force we spend more time in our places of business than we do with our parents, spouses, children, friends and other loved ones. Our jobs provide us with benefits (if we are lucky) and also provide us with financial means to live the lives that we have designed for ourselves. Loosing or even voluntarily transitioning away from such a large factor of our lives is bound stir up some level of grief.
Social Media Grief
We live in a society that praises riches and looks poorly upon poverty and lack of any kind. Social media has ignited this mind set by allowing us the opportunity to constantly compare ourselves to others. Looking at what is presented as the “glamorous” lives of others in some cases can create a sense dissatisfaction with our own lives. Without proper balance, discipline and perspective we can easily be convinced that we in some way are missing out on the best that life has to offer creating feelings of loss that closely relate to experiencing grief.
Grief is not meant to permanently paralyze us. As crazy as it sounds, grief gives us the tools needed to fully experience and appreciate life. Recognizing that we are grieving is the first step we must take to heal, rebuild/reinvest, and move forward. When we educate ourselves on what grief really is, we free ourselves to learn from and grow through the experience instead of making the temporary experience last a lifetime.
Loss can be experienced whenever we develop an emotional attachment to anything and the experience of loss affects each of us in unique ways. As individuals, the manner in which we choose to grieve cannot be defined or limited to a step-by-step process. According to Recover-From-Grief.com, a wonderful resource for support and information about grief, the stages of grief are as follows:
1. Shock and Denial
2. Pain and Guilt
3. Anger & Bargaining
4. Depression, Reflection, Loneliness
5. The Upward Turn
6. Reconstruction and Working Through
7. Acceptance and Hope
It is believed by most mental health professionals that all of these stages must be experienced in order for one to recover and rebuild after a loss. Please take the time to educate yourself and your family about what grief truly is and know that expressing the feelings associated with your loss is natural and necessary.
Have you experienced a loss that is not grief related? If so how did you heal, recover and move forward with life? I would love to hear from you. To learn more about starting this conversation with your family and receive FREE information, resources and educational materialsplease visit www.thegravewoman.com feel free to comment or email us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
*If you cannot answer the following questions you need to read this blog*
1. What is the name of insurance company that provides your life insurance benefits through your employer?
2. What is your employer’s life insurance policy number?
3. Do you meet the eligibility requirements to have a life insurance claim issued on your behalf?
4. Will your family know how to successfully file a life insurance claim in the event of your death?
5. Have your made your spouse, children, family or designated executor of your affairs aware of your employer issued life insurance policy?
When I ask family members and friends if they have invested in a life insurance policy for themselves and their families one of the more common responses that I receive is “I have life insurance through my job”. My follow up question to this response is whether or not they have contacted the policy holder to get the information needed to file a claim in the event of a death. Many times, I am told that they have not but their spouse, parents, or children will know what to do. I find this hard to believe. How many times have you heard employer issued life insurance policies discussed at dinner?
Many of us wake up and go to some form of a job on a regular basis. We exchange our time for compensation and because of this we are in many cases entitled to receive benefits from our employers that extend beyond health coverage. If we are lucky, these benefits may extend beyond our lives themselves. Most of us are blissfully ignorant to the protocols that must be followed in order for our families and/or executors to successfully file and be compensated from our employer issued life insurance policies. Others of us have no idea that they even exist.
In order to shed more light on this particular matter I have compiled the following 4 steps to Confirming Life Insurance Benefits with Your Employer.
1. Check with your HR department or representative to find out whom your employer contracts with for Life Insurance. This information may be available on your employer internal website. Once you find out who has issued the policy you will need to gather the following pieces of information:
a. Policy Holder
b. Group Policy Number
c. Type of Insurance Provided
d. Effective Policy Date
e. It would be really smart to obtain a copy of the entire policy for your personal records
2. Make sure that you (or your loved one) is indeed covered by this policy and that a beneficiary has been named. Please see the policy or contact your HR representative to obtain this information. You and your loved one’s eligibility for coverage is determined by a number of factors. Eligibility factors may include but are not limited to:
· Hours worked
· Employment Status
· Length of time employed
· Retirement Status/ Date of Retirement
· Contract Employee/ Student/ Resident
*Please call your Life Insurance provider in order to confirm that you/ your loved one are indeed considered a member and eligible for life insurance benefits based on policy and employer requirements. Be sure to make detailed notes about the conversation which include the name and employee number of the representative that you speak with. *
3. Please keep in mind that unless additional policy contributions are made by the employee, the coverage and value of the policy are pre-determined by your employer. It is vital that you know the true value of your policy. This should be outlined in the policy itself which may be available online or by request from your HR department / representative. Once you have the policy number you can request this information directly from the insurance company via telephone. When speaking with the insurance company it may be helpful to ask the following questions:
1. How long will it take to receive payment once I file a claim?
2. Where do I send a copy of the death certificate (if needed)?
3. What are the terms for accidental death and dismemberment?
4. Does the value of the policy increase in the event of accidental death or dismemberment?
5. What are the age requirements or limitations of this policy?
6. What happens if there are changes to the policy? How will I be made aware of these changes?
7. Can I increase the amount of my coverage or add additional individuals to be covered?
8. How do I change or add beneficiaries?
4. Finally, it is vital that you let someone who will be involved in making or overseeing your final arrangements know this information. If you don't wish to discuss this information please make sure that it is put in a place where it can be easily accessed when it is needed.
I love gaining insight from my readers. If you have experience with this particular topic or if there is anything that you would like to add please feel free to comment. Your questions and comments can also be emailed to me directly email@example.com .
Peace & Blessings,
The Grave Woman
Third times a charm they say....
I originally wrote this blog about 5 years ago in honor of my Grandmother who lovingly shared the where abouts of her insurance and other personal information with my immediate family and I. I revamped and released it again in February in honor of Black History month in hopes of encouraging the African American community to pre-plan for funeral and burial needs. I am now sharing it in hopes that it will be as well received now as t has been in the past.
“Baby, you can’t really live until you’re ready to die”.
These words will ring true for the rest of my life. These words were spoken by my Narnie (maternal grandmother) during one of our many telephone conversations. She proudly announced that she had recently gathered all of her paper work and other vital personal information to make them easily accessible for us (her children and grandchildren) in the event of her death. Even as someone who faces death on a daily basis the thought of my Narnie (or anyone else that I love) not being here sends cold chills through my body. After hanging up the phone and reflecting on our discussion I found myself overcome with a sense of calm and peace.
I realized what a gift she had put in place for us. Not only had she taken the time to contemplate and make peace with her mortality; she took things a step further and invested the time and energy to gather all necessary documents related to her finances and personal affairs. She took into consideration the natural grief that we are sure to face upon her transitions. In her own way she put forth the effort to soften deaths painful blow by giving us one less thing to worry about during our time of bereavement. What could be more valuable at such a time than peace of mind?
Below are 3 things that every family needs to seriously consider before someone dies.
1. It is the role of the funeral home and funeral service professionals to comfort and provide guidance, products and professional services to those who are grieving and experiencing loss. It is not our job or responsibility to compensate for your lack of preparation. Despite the uncertainty and un-expectancy of death, unless there is an immediate need for the services provided by funeral homes and burial establishments most of us have not realized the value and importance of making pre-need investments. Pre-need refers to prefunding and/or preplanning for funeralization and burial needs. Pre-need boils down taking care of what needs to be handled to arrange a funeral prior to an actual death taking place.
Pre-need is not limited to pre-funding. Pre-funding involves ensuring that funds are available for funeral and burial expenses prior to the death occurring. Simply having a conversation with loved ones that outline your final wishes and expectations is a major step in the pre-planning process. Pre-planning can be achieved by taking the imitative to discuss or dictate the small yet significant details that are important to you or by making your vital information and documentation readily available to those who will be responsible for making your arrangements.
On average, funerals arrangements are made within 48-72 hours of a death occurring. Within this time frame surviving loved ones will need to make decisions regarding the order of service, provide the vital statistic information needed to file a death certificate and gain permits for disposition, and provide the funds to pay for the services of the funeral home. Even if you cannot afford to prefund your funeral DO NOT underestimate the importance of simply having your identification, insurance policies, deeds, will, living will and other vital paperwork in order and readily available at their time of need.
Over the years I have sat in funeral home and cemetery conference rooms with numerous families. I have watched helplessly as they struggled to locate essential documents necessary for funeralization and burial. The amount of time and energy invested into taking this process into consideration before a death occurs will be reflected in the amount of stress you or your family encounters and greatly influence their overall experience when making final arrangements. Examples of great pre-planning steps and conversation starters can be found here 3 Free Ways To Prep Your Loved Ones For Death.
2. Gofundme.com is not an insurance policy. Let me repeat, Gofundme.com is not an insurance policy. Nothing is more heart breaking than receiving an email or Facebook notification from a family member or friend asking for funds to bury their loved one. Though there are many circumstances in which families are totally justified in seeking the help of the internet for various unexpected and tragic deaths; it has become a common practice for families to expect end of life expenses to be taken on by strangers. Many people are making the choice of meeting death at the back door as opposed to facing its reality and making the necessary provisions. These provisions can literally create financial life or death for loved ones who are responsible for making final arrangements.
The majority of this problem stems from the fact that we are taught in one way or another to value material possessions and instant gratification more than securing financial stability and security for ourselves and our families. We have yet to value the importance of making preparation for end of life and death care services or products which secure financial stability for our families in the event of a death. We have yet to realize the benefit and value in preparing for the inevitable.
3. Your employer is not responsible for notifying you or your family about its life insurance benefits. They are simply not required to. It is your responsibility to make sure that your family has all of the information needed to successfully submit a life insurance claim. It is your duty to make sure that your loved ones are aware of and familiar with the process required to receive payment in the event of your death. Another misconception is that because you are employed, you are automatically entitled to take advantage of your employer’s life insurance benefits. Sadly, many expectant “beneficiaries” are rudely awakened upon learning that their loved ones were not covered by their employers plans because they did not “qualify” for some reason or another. This is often discovered when attempting to make funeral arrangements. If you cannot answer the following questions you seriously need to read 4 Steps to Confirming Life Insurance Benefits with Your Employer
8/23/2018 0 Comments
Over the past 24 hours there have been countless articles, blogs and news stories released highlighting Aretha Franklin and her choice not to invest in having a will created to protect the enormous financial legacy and estate valued at nearly $80 Million USD amassed over the span of her 58 year musical career.
Many of the articles that I have read seem to have a somewhat critical tone. While I must admit that I am not only shocked but truthfully disappointed to hear that Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul, passed away intestate (the legal term used to describe someone who has passed away without a will) I do not believe that it is our right or job to judge the financial decisions of others without completely having an understanding of their motives and reasoning. Nonetheless, Ms. Franklin’s has blessed us with the opportunity to learn from her choice and to have an open and honest discussion about the potential repercussions associated with not preparing for death.
Before we go any further it is vital that you have an understanding of what a will is along with a three other key terms that will be used in this blog:
Will – a will or testament is a legal document by which a person, the testator, expresses their wishes as to how their property is to be distributed at death, and names one or more persons, the executor, to manage the estate until its final distribution.
Estate- All the money and property owned by a particular person, especially at death.
Trust Fund – a fund comprised of a variety of assets intended to provide benefits to an individual or organization. A grantor (Ms. Franklin for the sake of this blog) establishes a trust fund to provide financial security to an individual, most often a child or grandchild, or organizations, such as a charity or other nonprofit organizations.
Life Insurance Policy- is a contract between an insurer and a policyholder in which the insurer guarantees payment of a death benefit to named beneficiaries upon the death of the insured. The insurance company promises a death benefit in consideration of the payment of premium by the insured.
Now that we have gotten our terminology lesson for this week out of the way (lol) let’s proceed and explore the 3 Consequences of Not Planning for Death that We Can Learn from the Queen of Soul:
1. You Have No Control over What Happens When You Die
The first and probably the most important consequence of dying without a will is that you have no control over what happens after you die. On the surface, this may not seem like much of a big deal being that logically you will be deceased but when you look a little deeper this can cause huge problems for the loved ones that you leave behind.
For example, let’s say that Ms. Franklin requested that a trusted family member of friend provide a certain level of financial and physical care for her special needs son upon her death. Being that there is no will detailing exactly what that level of care must consist of; unless there is a trust fund or life insurance policy with her son or his legal guardian listed as the beneficiary, his lifestyle and quality of care can be potentially disrupted.
In additions to the impact of being intestate could have on her son, Ms. Franklin has no legal “voice” in any other financial matters that may arise. Should her surviving loved ones choose to they could completely disregard any wishes that she expressed while living concerning her belongings, property and other personal matters. A will acts as a voice beyond the grave ensuring that the things that were most important to us are handled properly when we die.
2. You Create Unnecessary Legal Issues and Cost
Due to the emotionally charged energy of grief simple disagreements amongst loved ones tend to become unnecessarily ugly, public and expensive. Money (especially large amounts of money) can change people and has a way of revealing the true motives, actions, and mindsets of others. When disagreements take place between family members who have or even only believe that they have an equal stake in financial matters things can get very ugly very fast. In many cases these disagreements lead to bickering, broken relationships, gossiping, theft and in the most extreme cases even murder.
Any disagreement between family members concerning funeral or burial arrangements, properties, accounts and personal belongings has the potential to cause the entire estate of the deceased to be turned over to the probate courts. In Ms. Franklin’s case this would be a worst case scenario because what once may have been private family drama can be made public. This could possibly tarnish her public image and legacy should any substantial debts or any other damaging undesirable personal information be discovered and released.
One of the major benefits of taking the time to delegate bequest through creating a will and/or trust is that you drastically reduce the risk of causing friction among loved ones as well as eliminate litigiousness. In addition, the legal process for handling probate matters can be very long in drawn out. This has the potential eat away at whatever monies exist. Also keep in mind that rulings are not always guaranteed to work out in the favor of your loved ones meaning that your estate could be completely turned over to the state.
3. You Steal the Opportunity for Your Loved Ones to Experience Peace
Far worse than thinking of your family members not being able to survive financially or even fighting over the money that you leave behind is the thought that they may not ever be able to find peace in their loss. Of course I’m not saying that money is the most important thing to consider when someone passes away but it is something that needs to be strongly considered. If your loved one/ones are caught up in the emotional and legal fight to have their say in what happens with your estate it robs them of the opportunity to focus on their loss and working through their grief. This can lead to ramifications such as stress, illness, depression and anxiety all to be experienced while grieving.
One of the main responses that I receive when asking my clients whether or not they have a will is “I don’t need a will, I’m not rich. Regardless of its monetary value, everyone has an estate. What happens with that estate when you die it totally up to you. You have the power to outline your wishes and desires. I can promise you that by doing this you are giving your loved a gift that will be appreciated greatly and provide a level of peace that is immeasurable.
Should you have any questions about how to go about creating your will or pre-arranged funeral and burial plans for yourself or your loved ones please do not hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and be sure to visit www.thegravewoman.com/blog for weekly YouTube and blog updates..
I always love to hear from you. Thank you for reading.
Death, the untamed caged pink elephant in the corner of the back of our minds, has become a taboo topic particularly in the African American community. Left undisturbed, thoughts of death and mortality sit and wait to be roused by events and circumstances that force us to open the cage and ignorantly face our deepest fears. As a result, death runs rampant in our minds, our lives, our families, and our community.
All of us at some point in our lives have or will experience the loss of a loved one. We even accept that our own deaths are inevitable. Very few people would voluntarily take on the responsibilities of mourning and making arrangements for someone that they love with little-to-no opportunity to prepare emotionally, spiritually, psychologically, or financially. Even fewer would purposely bestow this burden on the ones they love. This is partially because preparing for “the death experience” is not considered a need this has unconsciously become the norm of our culture. Consequently, our lack of consideration and conversation has taught us to respond to death as opposed to being proactive and ready for it.
We are given the choice to be prepared for death. By simply having conversations with our loved ones and families discussing our final needs and wishes, we empower ourselves to dimly light the paths through the valley of the shadow of death. Silence about this matter has led to the misconception that preparing for final funeral and burial needs involves a long-drawn out process and large amounts of money. The truth is that there are many steps that can be taken that cost nothing more than your time and effort. Here are three of them below:
1. Get the Conversation Started – The absence of conversations about preparing for death and dying, in my experience, is the result of a combination of three key factors; emotion, fear, and/or ignorance. No one wants to think or talk about losing their loved ones. To lighten the tone of this crucial conversation with your family, creating a relaxed atmosphere where the discussion can flow naturally is essential. One way to stimulate interest and make the experience memorable is by reviewing photos, reminiscing on good times, and enjoying each other’s company. Keeping paper and pen handy provides a chance to jot down important details that will arise while listening attentively as others express their thoughts and feelings when discussing loved ones who have passed on.
2. Break the Barrier of Emotion and Fear – Funeral homes and cemeteries are sources of anxiety, strong emotions, and fear for many people. Calling a funeral home or casually speaking with funeral service professionals while attending services is a great way to build relationships. This is also a great way to ask questions and gain valuable information without being pressured to make purchases or feel uncomfortable in an unfamiliar environment.
3. Break the Barrier of Ignorance – In this digital age, the internet serves as one of our greatest resources. By simply typing “help with preplanning” into Google’s search bar, numerous websites that are designed to educate you and your family about the benefits, products, and services available for final disposition are made available. The best part is that this free information is accessible from the comfort and convenience of your home.
What are your questions? What do you need to know? How can we get this conversation started in our community?
Joél Simone Anthony, also known as ‘The Grave Woman,’ is a licensed funeral director and embalmer. She is dedicated to eliminating misconceptions about post-life preparation while stimulating an open, honest and straight forward discussion about death. You can submit your comments, questions and requests to email@example.com or by using our contact page.