Talking to one of my coworkers the other day, I asked what kind of monument he and his wife wanted when they pass. This is a typical topic around Dodds because we are all fairly used to the reality of death since we are faced with it every day. I was completely shocked when he said that he didn’t want a monument; He and his wife just wanted to be scattered somewhere. I immediately responded with where is your family going to go when they want to visit you after you are gone? He said no one was going to come see him so it didn’t matter. This completely shocked me! I understand his not wanting a monument, but I guarantee if you ask his family if they wanted a place to go after he is gone, their response would be yes!! It got me thinking about how memorials and funerals are not for the dead but for the living.
In this line of work, we see so many families who are grieving and they tell us, once they have finalized the memorial, “thank you so much.” They feel like a weight has been lifted once they take care of getting their memorial. Therefore, we constantly discuss the importance of memorialization, not for the person who has passed, but because those left behind need that final piece to visit and grieve. This is also why is it so hard for people to take that final step of picking out the memorial.
This is why pre-planning the end of life is also important. When you are in that fog of grief it is hard to make decisions and preplanning takes that burden off your family when those decisions are already made. It is all about helping those we leave behind and making sure they are taken care of, even after we are gone.
I urge anyone reading this who thinks to themselves, “I just want to be cremated and spread somewhere, I don’t want to be in a cemetery,” to ask your loved ones what they want. Don’t brush it off and assume no one will want to come visit you. Chances are they will want a place to go to remember.