Addressing the elephant in the room about your own death is something most couples avoid doing together and it is a big mistake. When someone dies a Vital Statistics sheet must be filled out in order to have either a cremation or traditional burial. No service can happen without this form because your mortuary cannot generate a Death Certificate which is required by law.
Denial is expensive both emotionally and financially. You make much better decisions when you have information ahead of time. Making arrangements after a loss is like being on an emotional roller coaster and you will be the loser because funding a funeral is the third most expensive thing you will ever purchase. Shouldn’t it be something you understand long before you need to?
And, then there is the grief. Grief is your own personal storm and there are degrees to death. Sudden or unexpected, accidental or a child, murder or suicide, someone very young or old. Each of these types of death carries an emotional impact and unless and until you have suffered a similar circumstance, most people find great difficulty in understanding the grief in others. It is possible that the adage, “Silence is golden,” began because of the crazy things that people can say to others after they have suffered a loss.
Talking about your grief is a way of coping. My husband died seven years ago on a Sunday and I went to work on Monday because I needed “something normal”. A friend asked me, “How I could you go to work the day after he died? I asked her, “How can you ask me to defend how I am coping?” How people cope is a very private thing. There is no right or wrong way to do it. We need to respect how differently people grieve and how they use the coping skills they have.
Some people talk about their losses and others are quite private. I love talking about the people I have loved and lost. I love the laughing and the crying because each of those things help you to work through your grief. I wrote my first letter to my husband the night he died and I still write him letters all the time. I find great comfort is expressing myself by writing.
Life is a gift and each of us should treat each day as if it’s our last, because some day it will be our last!