two weeks have been more nuts than usual. With five kids, two dogs, a husband, my mom, caring for grandma, and homeschooling through the summer, I am way too busy to deal with a funeral. We don't get to choose when - or if - it is going to happen. We can, however, choose to make our good bye easier on our loved ones. My grandfather passed almost four years ago. My grandmother went to join him just about a week ago.
It was sad, but we knew what she wanted.
We knew she did NOT want life support.
She DID want a DNR.
She DID want to be cremated.
She did NOT want a funeral.
We obeyed her wishes. Mostly. We had a small memorial, for my mom's sake. A way to say good bye. It was very non-traditional. We had a backyard BBQ and swim party. It's something my grandmother would have enjoyed. All of the family was there, a few old friends, and the mood was kept light.
I knew that my mom would need my help with the arrangements when my grandmother passed. I'm glad they were easy, but it made me think. Does hubby know exactly what I would want? Do my kids know? Does my mom know? Heaven forbid something happens to me before my mom, but I want her to know as well.
OK. I admit it. I am a control freak. There. Are you happy? I want to know what is going to happen, who is involved, when, where, why, and exactly what is going on. I don't do spontaneous very well. I have too many kids to be too spontaneous.
I started doing a bit of online searching. I found two great webpages that can help anyone. The first one you need to go to now. Fill out the info, print it, and keep it in a safe place (I also have a copy from our funeral home if you want a copy). If you don't like the online thing, go to your local funeral home (we used crowder for my grandparents), get a packet and fill out the info. Our funeral home will keep the info on file for 'later use.' If you are funny about people having too much personal info, keep it in a safety deposit box or a locked box at home. It doesn't really matter where the info is, just as long as your children can find it easily when you are gone.
Also, make sure your family KNOWS your wishes. Do you want a full military funeral? Cremation? Hearse? Obituary? Life support? What about before you die. Do you have a burial plot picked out? What about a nursing home?
The other website I found - totally by mistake - is FUN. Plan and have control over how you WANT to be remembered. Your grandchildren and great grandchildren may not know what was on your bucket list - or even that you had one. Upload info, photos and stories you want to always be remembered.
Other info to know - whether for you or a loved one
Get multiple copies of Death certificates
Consult a lawyer
Collect important documents
Notify Social Security, the post office, insurance, credit bureaus, and credit card companies
Cancel accounts, subscriptions, and memberships
Apply for benefits
Pay final bills
Run a final credit report
Cancel the phone number right away
Cancel credit cards right away
Inform everyone right away
I didn't go into detail about the how or why, just click the link for more info. This helped a lot with the final affairs for my grandmother. This is never an easy time, but being prepared can help ease the burden.