Talking About Death
Before cremations in Peoria, AZ, it’s important for families to talk about the end of life and death. At one time, our elderly and sick stayed at home until they died, and the family rallied around and cared for them until that time. Death was as much a part of life as life itself was, and it was discussed openly and honestly.
As our society has become death-avoidant (we, with modern medicine’s help, do everything we can to slow or stop it), our elderly and sick are moved away from home to retirement communities, assisted living facilities, and nursing homes or hospitals where they spend their final days in the care of strangers.
There are several reasons why we Americans should reverse this trend and have frank conversations with our family members about the end of our lives and our deaths.
One reason that we should talk about death is to be able to clarify and communicate our wishes for how we spend our last days on earth. A living will is a vital instrument that everyone should have as is a medical power of attorney that designates someone to make medical decisions for us if we are unable to.
Without a medical power of attorney and a living will, all medical decisions that we are unable to make will be made by medical professionals. There are some absolutely fantastic, dedicated medical professionals throughout the country. However, it’s important to remember two things about the medical profession.
One is that, for most medical professionals, their knowledge is as current as the day they graduated medical school. That’s not their fault, because they simply can’t do their job and stay up on everything in their field, but it means that having a medical advocate, which a medical power of attorney grants, is even more critical to avoid unnecessary procedures, drug interactions, and overmedication.
The second thing to remember about medical professionals is that they took the Hippocratic Oath to do no harm. For many of them, this means saving lives, no matter what. This can lead to prolonged life support when there is no hope of recovery, extensive measures taken to extend life, despite the declining quality of that life, and not sanctioning the end of medical treatment when there is no hope or people are in the dying process. A living will can ensure these things don’t happen.
Death is the next step. Talking about death with our families lets us make our wishes known so that they will know exactly what to do and how to do it. This takes a tremendous amount of stress off of the family when they are coping with the shock and the trauma of our deaths. Everything’s already spelled out and the funeral home will do most of the heavy lifting on making sure our wishes are carried out exactly as we wanted them to be.
Part of talking about death also includes making sure that we have a current will or revocable trust in place. Our families should know about life and cremation insurance policies, about assets (be sure to give access to at least one family member for financial accounts so that they can pay bills and take care of any expenses after you’re gone), about property, and about any work or military benefits they may be entitled to. Cover the bases now, because it’ll be too late when you’re gone.
To learn more about talking about death before cremations in Peoria, AZ, our compassionate and experienced team at Simply Cremation & Funeral Arrangements can assist you. You can come to our funeral home at 16952 W. Bell Rd., #303, Surprise, AZ, 85374, or you can contact us today at (623) 975-9393.