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Planning Your Own Funeral

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Yet 'tain’t being dead; it’s my awful dread of the icy grave that pains

So I want you to swear that, foul or fair, you’ll cremate my last remains.


Such were the funeral plans of Sam McGee, immortalized in verse by Robert Service. They represent the very basic steps in planning your own funeral:

  • Decide what you want done with your remains
  • Tell someone

Pre-planning your own funeral is such a responsible, caring thing to do for your family. It alleviates some of their stress on your passing, knowing what information the hospital and funeral home will need to complete the arrangements in accordance with your wishes.

You don’t have to do it alone. Discuss it with your family and get their input – after all, a funeral service is as much for the living as for the dead. Do you want a traditional burial, cremation, or are you donating your organs or body? Do you want the funeral held in your church or in the funeral home? Checklists are available from most funeral homes, on paper or online, to help you outline what you want (or can afford), and then fill in the details. (Discussion Starter)

Now if you’ve ever read The Cremation of Sam McGee you’re probably thinking that Sam’s funeral instructions to his friend, Cap, caused a lot more stress than they alleviated. I’m convinced if they had discussed the matter before setting out on the Trail the story would have ended differently.