by Jenny Leigh Hodgins
As a caregiver for my senior mom, we recently updated her End Of Life plan. I helped Mom change from a corporate funeral prepaid plan to an alternative that saved her THOUSANDS and is more in line with her personal values and beliefs.
What I learned:
I see the itemized breakdown of corporate costs as extravagant and mainly lining corporate pockets w profit—straight out of my Mom’s pocket—and people like her.
I’ll admit that a pre-plan MIGHT save you money if you’re going the full traditional funeral route; caskets, corporate facilities for visitations and receptions, transportation like hearses and limousines, graveside burials, etc. The truth is that the average traditional corporate funeral costs in the USA run between $8-$25K depending on where you live. The pre-paid policy option claims to save you money by locking in the price against inflation.
But these preplanned policies are more costly than necessary and definitely more expensive than the alternatives that I help you explore as your Creative Memorial Planning Coach and within my Creative Memorial Planning Facebook Group.
Let me paint a clear picture: After looking through Mom’s itemized prepaid plan she’d previously arranged through corporate funeral, I recognized that a prepaid policy costs two to three times more than the ACTUAL cost of the services requested (depending on the services opted for).
Corporate funerals help keep death a mystery so people don’t readily ask the right questions. Most people get easily overwhelmed by the topic of death due to emotion and spiritual beliefs--and therefore willingly pay premium fees for corporate funeral staff to handle it.
There are often what I call ‘blanket fees’ that are just pure gravy for corporate funeral-- in addition to the actual itemized services and products you opt for--and you will *pay additional* fees beyond this blanket fee for each of these itemized services and products.
I get it —corporate funerals are there for profit. They’ve got to keep their lights on—so that expense falls directly on you and YOUR pocketbook. The more you opt for, the more they stand to gain.
But end of life planning doesn’t need to break your bank account or deplete your pocketbook!
As your Creative Memorial Planning Coach, I can help you with that!
Instead of the excessive cost or the abrupt and impersonal customs of the corporate funeral route—here’s what I offer you:
My program is a two-month hybrid self-study and one on one coaching program—with video tutorials, templates, checklists, and my Reflections For You workbook as a supportive guide.
I work through every detail with you at *your own pace* to cover the issues of most importance to you—within a two-month period.
I help you map out your creative memorial plan within two months--so your loved ones don’t have to think about it in their most vulnerable moment.
Imagine how you’ll feel knowing that you’ve got your end of life plan completely mapped out within two months. Everything in one place, your personal wishes and options completely customized to your personal values. You can rest assured that your surviving loved ones have nothing to figure out or pay for or deal with because you’ve got it all done for them.
Get my help with exploring earth-friendly, cost-reducing ALTERNATIVES to traditional funeral plans with less or -0- corporate funeral &/or religious involvement. Relieve the burden from your loved ones by getting your creative memorial plan mapped out!
Join my CREATIVE MEMORIAL PLANNING GROUP to access my FREE video series with Reflections For You ebook!
by Jenny Leigh Hodgins
How can the dark, depressing topic of memorial planning fit in with YourCreativeChord's purpose of nurturing creativity and inspiration, you ask?
How can planning a memorial possibly be inspiring and beautiful?
Fostering the energy for creative inspiration relies on the balance between practicing self-care and care for others. Nurturing inspiration is rooted in compassion for both self and others.
When you muster your bravery to even think about the difficult topics of loss, death and grief, much less take the caring stance to make a clear plan for it, you ultimately make things easier for you and your loved ones. What could be more caring? What could be a more inspiring legacy to leave behind?
Embrace The Opportunity
To Celebrate & Joyfully Inspire Others
When we think of things that inspire, we often use words like calm, peace of mind, zest for life, beautiful, passion, and comfort. Just as planning ahead for anything brings peace of mind, having your ducks in a row about end-of-life issues is a way to bring comfort, peace and calm to yourself and others. Preparing in advance can also lead to an incredibly beautiful celebration of life and an event that honors your memory. How inspirational!
The alternative is not thinking about it.
When we deny things or hide from reality, we end up suffering far worse.
You and I will experience the inevitable end that happens to everyone at some point. When you make the effort to plan, out of your love for others, you bring beauty and celebration to your life’s ending. For both yourself and surviving loved ones.
Clearly, death is a difficult subject. In our culture, the topic is mostly avoided, denied, or considered far removed from positive things like creativity and inspiration.
Loss and grief are the most intense kind of suffering. But we all must face these. How do we nurture ourselves through difficult moments if we avoid dealing with them?
Wouldn't it be more valuable to embrace our unavoidable, end-of-life issues as an opportunity to celebrate, honor, and joyfully inspire others to live even more fully?
The reason I'm creating more content offering alternatives to traditional memorials and tips for preparing memorial agendas, obituaries, and programs is because I know what it’s like without the planning there in advance. People are enormously consoled when you have something planned ahead of time and when they can follow a structure based on your wishes.
A thoughtful memorial plan and structure brings serenity, comfort, a sense of closure, and even healing to those dealing with loss.
Meaningful Creativity Can Be Born
From Both Suffering And Joy
Many people think of strategies for inspiration as always being something positive. But from my personal experience, creativity can be born from both deep suffering and great joy.
Many of my most valuable and meaningful creative expressions have come from dealing head-on with loss or through my experience of grieving a loved one. This is something that anyone can do. Addressing human pain is in sync with the heartening theme for nurturing your inspiration because we all experience it and we have the potential to create value from our suffering.
Dealing directly with death, whether our own or others, can be the catalyst for tremendous inspiration. It can also lead to reviving a greater spirit for living in the present moment. Facing loss can fuel our efforts to cook, volunteer, garden, work with animals, dance, write poetry or stories, journal, compose music, paint or draw.
Planning ahead for your memorial offers potential for the transformation of an intensely difficult experience into one of tremendously positive value, especially if you base your plans on your compassion for those who will be left behind.
The peace of mind you gain from having a plan in place to deal with memorial issues is an inspiration to those around you. In this way, you demonstrate unequivocal care for yourself and others by making things easier for everyone through your sincere effort to plan ahead.
That kind of sincere effort for others is a huge spark for inspired living.
I’d love to hear from you. It means a lot to me that my content is helpful and empowers you. Please take a moment to join the conversation below to let me know if this blog is helpful or if you have questions or suggestions!
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In my Caregiver blogs, you'll find I understand the internal struggles and daily stress as a caregiver juggling entrepreneurial life.