Cheryl’s mother passed away Tuesday morning. The news was devastating to the both of us, despite the fact that Mary had been sick for the past month. But, I think even more difficult than coming to terms with our grief has been making the funeral arrangements.

The funeral director, Mike, is a nice man. He remembered Cheryl from her father’s funeral nearly twenty years ago. And, we’re lucky because our brother-in-law, Charlie, was on the ball and wrote the obituary with Mike right away. All we needed to do for that yesterday was proofread it.

No, the real hard part came with picking out the casket and then Mom’s dress. We even had to pick out what vault. Did you know that linings in caskets are not interchangeable? I liked the roses that were embordered on one lining, but we liked a different casket better. You can’t take one lining out of one casket and put it in another. In any case, it’s hard trying to decide just what casket someone would like to have.

This morning, we’ll be meeting with the Priest to go over the Mass arrangements.

So, my whole reason for this post is simply this:

Sit down and plan your funeral. Go take a look at caskets — many funeral homes offer pre-planning. And, if you’re thinking, well, I might not live where I’m at the rest of my life — that’s okay. Don’t make anything official. Just pick out the color and style and write it down. Trying to make serious and expensive decisions through the tears of grief is the hardest thing your family members will ever have to do. So, do something for them and plan it out. Write down your favorite hymms and if you want a full Mass (if you’re Catholic) or not. Do you want a viewing the night before? Do you want your funeral to be at a church at all?

My father recently said that he was writing out what he wants for his funeral. At first, I really didn’t want to think about it. But, now, I’m thinking Dad’s giving Scott, Brian and me the best gift he possibly can. I just wish he could convince Mom to do the same.

God Bless