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The Greatest Gift to Your Children

Drew Tignanelli
Drew Tignanelli
Most parents want to give their children gifts, but what gift would you consider to be the greatest gift? Ideas like cash, a new car, a big family trip, or a really cool shared experience (like skydiving) might come to mind. All of these may be fun for a while, but none of those ideas are what I would consider the greatest.

The Greatest Gift you can give to your children is a pre-planned funeral. It’s something everyone will ultimately need and while it doesn’t sound like fun, after years of personal and professional experience helping our clients, I assure you that having the funeral pre-planned relieves the family of immense pressure at a very difficult and emotional time.  

When a beloved family member passes without advance plans, the burden falls to the family. In as little as one week’s time, the family has to make some pretty extensive preparations in the midst of grieving their loss. Almost immediately, they may be faced with deciding whether there will be an organ donation, and if so, whether to donate the whole body or specific elements. Immediately following that decision begins a long list of other decisions and difficult questions, for example, do you know how to choose a funeral home that accommodates as many of your family and friends as possible? Or, in what publications should the obituary be published? Not only will the family need to make such personal decisions as burial or cremation, but they also need to consider whether anyone (including the deceased) vehemently opposes such a choice. Viewings create another list of considerations (i.e., where, and how many). Memorial or funeral services are often necessary to help people grieve and heal, and the family will need to decide who will speak, who might do a reading and who might need to be “contained”. If the service will be a religious ceremony, the family might have a number of other decisions.  In addition to the casket, selecting a burial site or a final resting place for the ashes represents yet another set of decisions. Are you feeling tired and depressed yet? Without knowing your loved one’s wishes, imagine how this might transpire in the company of opinionated family members. Someone is bound not to be happy.  However, if you as the parent have pre-planned your funeral, all of these questions will already be answered and your loved ones will have time to do what they need to do; remember your life and grieve your passing.
Thank you dad; for the greatest gift you ever gave me.  

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