Pre-Planning - A Story
From the moment that he had seen her in high school, George knew that Mary Ellen was going to be his wife. He'd promised that he would always take care of her and protect her. And through their fifty-five years of marriage, even though they'd gone through both good and bad, they had always stayed together.
One of the worst times of their lives when the death of their son, John. He had been killed in a tragic automobile accident when he was only seventeen. George could still remember the pain it had caused his sweetheart to have to make decisions about John's funeral. He had decided then and there that she would never have to go through that kind of stress again.
Of course, as most things in life, we tend to put things off until we really need them. His last doctor's exam had put a little fear in him. Nothing too bad, but he realized that he was getting up in years and he still hadn't put all his affairs in order. The first thing he decided to do was to call his local funeral director, a man he had trusted and respected for years, and make an appointment.
The funeral director met with them in a large, comfortable office and spoke with them about all of the different options that were available. George was amazed at how funerals had changed since they had buried their son over thirty years ago. The funeral director answered all of their questions and asked one that George had never considered, "How do you want to be remembered?"
The funeral director spoke about the importance of a funeral for the survivors and George recalled the comfort he received from the love and well-wishes of his son's friends. He had recently thought that he only wanted a simple cremation, so he wouldn't be a bother to his family. But after speaking with the funeral director and recalling those moments during his son's visitation, he realized that he would be stealing comforting opportunities from his own family.
With a feeling of peace, George and Mary Ellen were able to make decisions about their funerals, knowing that their family would be saved the anguish of making those decisions at the time of their deaths. They resolved to meet with their other children and let them know about their decisions, so they would know who to contact when final arrangements needed to be made.
George felt that he had kept his promise to Mary. Not only would she be taken care of at the time of her death, but if he died first, she would not have any of the worries they had experienced before.