While many of us are safe at home and taking extra precautions to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe amidst the global pandemic, others are not so lucky. First responders put themselves at a much higher risk of contracting the Coronavirus than the general population and many fear the possibility of getting sick and experiencing fatal complications.
News agencies across the country are taking note of how first responders are preparing for the future and have noticed a growing trend: first responders are taking extra steps to protect their families by planning for their funerals ahead of time.
Healthcare workers in their 20s and 30s are making advanced funeral arrangements to protect their families, Rachel Siegel from the Washington Post reported in March.
Rachel spoke to 35-year-old emergency medicine physician Andrea Austin, who is considering her final plans amidst the coronavirus outbreak. Andrea made it clear she prefers cremation, noted which doctors she trusts with her end-of-life care, and even compiled a playlist to be played at her funeral, the Washington Post reported.
How the pandemic will continue to affect our lives over the next few days, weeks, and months is unclear. Rather than focusing on the uncertainty, many first responders and others have decided to plan ahead.
Planning in advance is not uncommon, but it has grown significantly more popular in recent months. Organizing funeral arrangements ahead of time offers many benefits to families. It eases the burden on those left behind by sparing them from having to make rushed emotional and financial decisions while they are grieving the loss of their loved one. By planning in advance, many say they gain peace of mind knowing they are protecting their family members.
Preplanning funeral plans are also the safest way to ensure that one has full control over his or her final wishes. Purchasing a plan gives families the time to consider and decide on important options during the planning process. When families are left to make funeral arrangements after their loved one has passed, they must make critical decisions without their loved one’s input. Families are left to guess if their loved one would have wanted to be buried or cremated, where they would like to be laid to rest, what kind of service they would have preferred, and more.
Preplanning arrangements is not just popular among first responders and it is on the rise across the country, CNBC reporter Jane Wells says.
According to Chris Cruger, chief operating officer at a funeral consulting firm, the percentage of the population that believes it is important to plan ahead for funeral and cemetery purchases has increased from 50% to 73% following the coronavirus outbreak.
The New York Times reported in July that younger individuals are planning ahead at much higher rates. They spoke to Isabelle Rodriguez, who, at just 24 years old, has begun making decisions surrounding her funeral arrangements. From deciding where she would like her ashes to be scattered, to choosing the poem she would like shared across her social media channels following her death, Isabelle is considering all of her options when it comes to end-of-life planning.
“End-of-life decisions can be overwhelming, but making those choices when she was healthy gave her more control,” The New York Times reporter Jennifer Miller wrote. “Knowing that she’d ease the burden on her family if the worst happened also gave her peace of mind.”
“It would be easier for people around me to know what I want,” Isabelle is quoted as saying.
If you are considering planning ahead, you may be wondering how you can get started. It’s easy. Find a local funeral home near you and schedule an appointment. Many funeral homes will allow you to learn about their preplanning options over the phone or via video chat free of charge. Once you’re ready to begin the process, give them a call or inquire about their services online. You can then explore your options at your own pace and consider what is important to you and how you would like to be remembered.
If you’re interested in planning with a Sharelife provider, please give us a call at (407)710-6775 and we can help you get started with the process. And, if you are a first responder interested in funeral planning, call a local ShareLife provider to learn about our discounted packages to thank you for your service.