Anyone who has experienced a death of a loved one may find the holidays difficult. The season can become filled with feelings of sadness, loss and emptiness. “Society encourages you to join in the holiday spirit, but all around you the sounds, sights and smells trigger memories of the one you love who has died,” said Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D, Director of the Center for Loss and Life Transition “During the holidays it is important to remember to be tolerant and compassionate with yourself.”
It’s a new year! For many people that means life starts over. It’s a time to try to live better, be more organized, and complete tasks that perhaps were overlooked during the previous year. As you are making your resolutions and lists of all the things you want to do to make your life better in 2018, have you considered discussing having the Talk of a Lifetime with your loved ones? What is the Talk of a Lifetime you might be asking.
Someone you love has died and you are now faced with the difficult, but important, need to mourn. According to Alan D. Wolfelt, Ph.D, Director of the Center for Loss and Life Transition “Mourning is the open expression of your thoughts and feelings regarding the death and the person who has died. It is an essential part of healing.” The grief journey is often frightening, painful, overwhelming, and sometimes lonely. With hope the following tips from Dr. Wolfelt will help you as you move toward….
With the baby boom population being 75 million strong, it’s no surprise that today’s funeral services have become “Life Celebrations” instead of a room full of friends and family wearing black attire and sad faces. This is certainly not to downplay the fact that when a loved one dies, we aren’t sad or that it is difficult to celebrate a traumatic and unexpected loss. It is simply to state that today the emphasis on funerals for many families, especially baby boomers, has been to plan the service around the....
Regardless of your age, there is a good chance that you have attended at least one or two funerals. For those people reading this article, there is a greater chance that you’ve possibly attended many more funerals than just two. Unfortunately, over the past year, I personally have attended more funerals than normal. With each funeral I attend, my belief that funerals are an important ritual to help the living acknowledge loss and begin the grief process grows even stronger. Funerals do matter.
Whether you’re a boomer or the child of a boomer, you may have started talking about the next 10, 20 or even 30 years and planning for the retirement years. If you have already had the retirement conversation and started planning, congratulations – you are doing yourself and your family a favor by considering and possibly making decisions about the many choices you have available to you.
Have you ever considered how much your family has experienced during your lifetime together? From the birth of your children to the first and last days of school to weddings and all the vacations, ballgames and performances in between, you probably have many stories to share with friends and families. Along the way, I’m pretty certain you have probably taken hundreds if not thousands of photos and videos of your family and friends to help document your journey.
If an accident happened to cause your death today, would your loved ones know how to arrange your funeral or life celebration? Who will notify your family and friends? Have you discussed the type of visitation, funeral or memorial service you’d like to have with anyone? Do you know what casket or urn you would like? Do others know your favorite song? Is there a favorite outfit you’d want to wear? Do you want a traditional burial or do you want to be cremated? Do you have military....
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While no one really likes to plan for death, it is one of those things on the “have to” list. That is, if your goal is to ease the burden on your family. There are literally over 100 decisions that need to be made at the time of a person’s death. Planning in advance is simply a responsible thing to do and one your children will greatly appreciate. Things to consider include whether you will pay for the funeral/life celebration now or through life insurance and specifying what you want done with your remains (burial or cremation) and where you want them placed, as well as how you’d like your life celebrated. Planning all these aspects allows your family more time to grieve their loss at the time of your death.
Retirement does not have to be the equivalent of sitting in front of the television all these remaining years. It can be if you want, but it can also be filled with a lot of enjoyment with friends and family. It could include traveling, volunteering, reading or quilting, exercising, caring for grandchildren, attending spiritual activities, cooking and so much more. The choice is yours. Enjoy life to its fullest. But also learn about the resources available to you and your family for your retirement. The need for senior resources varies widely depending on how independent or co-
The Lexington community offers a spectrum of services to seniors. In fact, there seems to be more senior services than ever before. Our community is preparing for an increased demand from boomers who have or are about to enter their retirement years along with their parents who are living longer than previous generations. One such resource you may want to consider are Senior Information Fairs. One of these fairs will be held at Milward Funeral Directors, 1509 Trent Boulevard, on Thursday, Sept. 6 from 10 a.m.-
Whether you’re a boomer or the child of a boomer, you may have started talking about the next 10, 20 or even 30 years and planning for the retirement years.
If you have already had the retirement conversation and started planning, congratulations – you are doing yourself and your family a favor by considering and possibly making decisions about the many choices you have available to you.
If you haven’t, don’t worry, you aren’t alone. I highly encourage you to start learning about, thinking about and discussing your future retirement with your family so they aren’t left in the dark wondering what Mom or Dad prefers.
Finding a way to start talking with loved ones about retirement and the future is the difficult part. Here are a few topics to start with:
Just because you can retire at age 65 years doesn’t mean you have to or want to. Many people choose to work beyond retirement not because they need to but simply because their job is their passion. If you enjoy working, you should continue doing so. Perhaps consider cutting back your days so you can pursue other activities you enjoy or always wanted to do. If you are ready to throw in the towel and can afford to do so, by all means retire and enjoy life.
Milward Funeral Directors May/June 2018
If you’re going to retire, you certainly need to know how you will cover your expenses. No matter how old you are, it is a good idea to meet with a professional who can help you get your financial affairs in order.
Have you written a will or set up a trust? Do you need to deal with other legal affairs? If not, when you die, your family is likely to spend a lot of time and money in probate court handling your legal and financial affairs. Take time now to finalize your legal affairs. You can always make changes.
Will your children or home health care take care of you in your home or theirs? Is it time to downsize so you can live in your own home longer? If necessary, do you have a specific independent senior living or nursing home where you’d prefer to live? Senior living facilities are popping up all over town. Similar to the drugstore boom, the need for senior living facilities is greater than ever. If you haven’t, now is a great time to schedule a tour so you can find facilities you prefer if you should need to get more personalized care.
Kim Wade has been marketing consultant for more than 20 years specializing in the funeral industry. Currently, she is the Community Relations Director for Milward Funeral Directors, the 37th-
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