October 10, 2014
This is the tale of two Joes. Joe, a retired electrician has been married to Betty for 45 years while they raised three children. Joe and Betty had college savings for the kids, savings for vacations and weddings, and even paid off their small Cape Cod before Joe retired. It never occurred to them to pre-plan for their own burial services.
The other Joe, actually Jose, is a retired 5-star chef and has been married for 50 years to Marisol. They raised four children and two nieces after Marisol’s sister passed away at an early age from a heart attack. They also had college savings for all of the kids, weddings, and paid off their ranch home before Jose retired. Unlike Joe, Jose and Marisol chose pre-planning for their burial arrangements for several reasons.
Marisol’s sister’s death was so sudden the entire family was devastated for months…emotionally and financially. After life calmed down somewhat for the couple, Marisol discussed prepaid burial plans with Jose. She explained that by making the arrangements now, they would save their own children the expense and heartache that she went through with her own sister.
Jose agreed, and they met with a memorial counselor. He was able to answer their questions, and put Marisol’s mind at ease that a repeat of her sister’s situation would never happen again. Jose told Marisol that even though it was an unusual experience, he was very glad they picked out caskets together. “I never would have guessed you’d pick the light blue plush interior. I was certain you’d want the pink,” Jose said. Marisol explained, “The pink was beautiful with the rose embroidery, but the blue plush had doves in flight. My Grandmother always told me doves are a sign that God would take you home to heaven one day.”
When Betty passed away from a stroke, it was a surprise to her family. Joe hadn’t made any burial plans, and now his grief was too overwhelming to deal with the details. He looked to his eldest child, Robert, for assistance. Robert was also distraught, but had to overcome it to help his father. Because Joe was living on a fixed income, Robert asked his two other siblings to chip in and the three of them covered burial expenses for their mother. Joe and Betty were good loving parents, and wonderful grandparents. Unfortunately, they just never considered burial pre-planning. If they had, burdens could have been lessened.
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