Death can often be a macabre thing to discuss and it is always the last thing on our mind. In Asian culture, it is often a taboo thing to talk about, and the mere mention of it is often met with blank stares or hushed tones. In the Western culture, it is openly discussed, which can be a beneficial aspect to the person involved and their family members, as it prepares them for what is coming ahead.
Preparing for the next stage of your life
In the initial stages of discussion about death, you will be faced with issues such as a will (for the passing down of your assets), insurance payout to surviving family members, and even choosing funeral packages that are offered by a funeral company. Discussing with your family members about your future preparations may put them at ease, as they will be able to know what you want for your funeral.
Why get a funeral package?
These packages will include a wide range of services such as: advice from the relevant personnel, headstones for graves, coffins, and even specific requests such as religious rites. These funeral packages have a different range of prices for the level of services and types of materials used, and they are a one-stop solution for those who are unsure of what they want for their funeral. For those who are in financial difficulties, they even have a prepaid plan where they can pay in instalments and even lock in the current price for their future funeral.
Choosing your headstones and coffins
Headstones are made from a range of materials that can withstand the test of time, and they can be made from granite, marble, limestone, fieldstone, sandstone, cement, iron, bronze, and even wood. Depending on the materials chosen, the cost can vary. Certain materials like marble may discolour due to natural elements. Coffins are generally made out of wood, and the two most costly forms of it would be walnut and mahogany. They can also be made from metal, which is hardly used nowadays, due to the weight and cost.
Cremation or burial?
The issue of cremation vs burial pops up every now and then. Many would state their preference, but what are the perspectives of each? A cremation would be the less expensive choice, as the body is placed in the burner, and then converted into ashes, which would be placed in an urn. A burial would mean that the entire is coffin is lowered into the ground, and then sealed with a tombstone at the top. This would be a costlier option, due to labour costs, materials involved, and the time taken to go through the entire process.
Only two things are certain in life: taxes and death. While death cannot be prevented, the best we can do is to accept it willingly and view it with an open mind. Planning your own funeral has many benefits, not least for the loved ones you leave behind.