Why ALTERNATIVES to traditional funerals are better PLUS the ONE thing that will make the biggest impact for your loved ones!
by Jenny Leigh Hodgins
As Mom’s caregiver, I do what I can to assure she enjoys a quality life. I make sure she has plants on the patio to enjoy during breakfasts. I take her for drives in the countryside in beautiful Kentucky during this period of pandemic isolation.
When possible, I take her for walks in the neighborhood or nearby park areas where there are few people about. We eat home-cooked, whole, mostly organic foods. We Zoom and text with other family members to keep her spirits up and stay connected. I stay on top of her meds and doctor communications.
Another thing I do is engage Mom in stories about her history. We recently talked about how my Dad worked regularly to update his end of life plans so none of us had anything to figure out when he died of cancer in 2014.
Mom and I also talked about making the end of life a quality experience for Mom and those of us who will remain after she’s gone.
The ONE thing that will make the biggest impact toward a quality end of life experience is preparing in advance.
Preparing for Mom’s end of life is a huge step.
It brings the benefits of:
We’ve been updating Mom’s Will and end of life plans (mine, too!) with attention to as much detail as possible. DETAILS are where you can have the biggest impact for a quality death experience! Mom and I have covered:
1. exploring alternatives to traditional funeral plans for how to handle the remains,
2. payment info of these services,
3. preparing a life story announcement,
4. how to get the announcement communicated,
5. final legacy messages,
7. and more personally tailored details for a Goodbye Ritual to comfort surviving loved ones and serve as a loving, lasting legacy.
Our late relatives only knew one way to handle end of life planning: corporate customs that were costly, damaging to the planet, and impersonal and abruptly handled.
Over the years and through experiencing the loss of loved ones, Mom has changed her mind from having traditional funeral plans to alternative options.
BENEFITS OF CREATIVE MEMORIAL PLANNING
ALTERNATIVES to traditional funeral plans with less or zero corporate and/or religious involvement have great benefits!
Alternatives to traditional funeral plans are:
1. less abrupt and more personally meaningful to both the dying and surviving loved ones,
2. dramatically less expensive, and
3. far less destructive to the earth
Planning these details now for alternatives to corporate funeral customs:
1. makes things easier for all of us,
2. cuts cost dramatically,
3. assures Mom’s preferences to protect the planet, and
4. allows for a personalized plan that will become her loving legacy.
Was this helpful to you?
As a Creative Memorial Planning Coach, I invite you to learn more about how I can help you explore earth-friendly, cost-reducing ALTERNATIVES to traditional funeral plans with less or zero corporate and/or religious involvement.
My Explore, Choose, and Plan Your Creative Memorial Program is a 2-month hybrid self-study and 1:1 weekly one-hour coaching program with me.
During my two-month program, I walk with you step-by-step to:
Within my two-month program, I help you map out your creative memorial plans—based on your personal values.
Get help with exploring earth-friendly?, cost-reducing? ALTERNATIVES to traditional funeral plans with less or zero corporate funeral &/or religious involvement. Relieve the burden from your loved ones by getting your Creative Memorial Plan mapped out! ❣️
I help 50+ adults, caregivers, and families explore earth-friendly, cost-reducing ALTERNATIVES to traditional funeral plans with less or even ZERO corporate and/or religious involvement.
I help you map out your personalized, meaningful,
creative memorial plan.
I invite you to join my Creative Memorial Planning Group to access my FREE Video series with Reflections For You downloadable ebook as a supportive guide!
Join Creative Memorial Planning Facebook Group to attend my upcoming SUNSET SUMMIT, from October 26 -30, 2020.
You'll learn about alternatives to traditional funerals and end of life plans that are more gentle, comforting, cost-reducing, and planet-friendly.
SUNSET SUMMIT will feature a variety of experts offering ways for transforming your Golden Chapter of life with earth-friendly, personalized, cost-reducing, and meaningful end of life services and support.
We'll have LIVE presentations from experts throughout the 5-day event. You'll hear from death educators, transition doulas, and grief therapists. You'll gain educational information on support for caregivers, a natural cemetery within a 41-acre conservation sanctuary (Natural Burial Site), and more earth-friendly, gentler alternatives to traditional end of life planning.
SUNSET SUMMIT will ONLY be available to Creative Memorial Planning Facebook Group members.
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.