You Need To Make How Many Decisions When Someone Dies?

I recently shared that I would be starting to plan Hubs’ funeral while he is very much alive and well.  I also touched on 5 tips to help you pre-plan a funeral.  A couple of people have asked what is the big deal?  Why not just deal with it all when the time comes?  Truthfully, because no one likes talking about death or funerals.  Well I have 87 reasons why I think that it is a good idea to start that conversation now, not only with Hubs but also other members of my family (like my parents). 

 You read that right, there are over 87 decisions, pieces of information to gather or things to do when someone dies.  If you don’t believe me, then check out this handy list of 87 Things to do after a death that Arbor Memorial has put together to help get you organized.

funeral planning with arbor memorial

Because right after your love one passes away, how likely are you to remember the birthplace of their mother and father?  That is, if you even knew it in the first place!  There is a lot of information to gather, including Social Insurance Numbers, wills, life insurance and more.  Plus you need to make choices regarding final arrangements.  Who wants to be dealing with all of that when you are an emotional disaster?  Many of these things can be decided ahead of time, and when you do have these conversations now, you have the benefit of finding out what you partner/family member would like for their final arrangements first-hand.

tips for pre-planning a funeral

Hubs and I were put to the test to see if what I would have picked for his final arrangements were actually what he would like for himself, whenever that time may be.  How did we match up? See for yourself below.

arbor memorial funeral planning

Overall we were on the same page, but there were important details like where Hubs’ final resting place would be that we had not discussed.  He preferred the idea of his ashes being scattered somewhere,  whereas I liked the thought of having a more permanent place for his ashes.  While a traditional niche for an urn is probably not what we are looking for, there are many other options these days including garden areas in the cemetery with nature rocks, trees or benches.  While we may not have finalized everything in one discussion, it was eye-opening to be able to meet with funeral directors to see all of the decisions that have to be made and all of the options that are out there. urn-options-arbour-memorial

And trust me there is a lot to think about.  Wondering what it is like to go through the pre-planning funeral process? Here is a video that highlights our experience:


In talking to Hubs about our end-of-life wishes it was highlighted to me that there are many unanswered questions for other members of our family as well.  Having these conversations with your parents, and getting siblings involved as well, can greatly reduce the stress of the loss of your parents, whenever that time comes.  When talking about these sorts of choices, it is not set in stone so it can never be changed, but rather offers some guidance if something unexpected were to happen and can be updated if required over the years.

If you were like me and were not sure where to start, the four-step pre-planning guide from Arbor Memorial is a good starting point.  While I don’t think this is something I will need to deal with for a long time, it is nice having the peace of mind knowing what plans we have in place for when the time comes.

Disclosure:  This post was brought to you by Arbor Memorial.  All opinions are strictly my own.

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22 thoughts on “You Need To Make How Many Decisions When Someone Dies?”

  1. This is one thing that I am very glad I don’t need to worry about. My parents have already set everything up so all I have to do is follow what they write down. I pray that will be a very long time before I have to worry about it though.

  2. Knowing what your loved ones’ final wishes are is important. I couldn’t imagine having to make those decisions while being an emotional wreck. I would always wonder if this would have been what they would have wanted. Thankfully, before my mother passed away from terminal cancer, we had already started her funeral arrangements.

  3. Reesa Lewandowski

    We’ve been the place of having to plan arrangements unexpectedly quite a few times and it is not easy at all, especially when you are grieving.

  4. Gosh, I guess it is god that you are planning ahead. I do not like to even think about this stuff because the experience with my dad is still too fresh.

  5. It is so important to have the talk with your partner. My Husband passed away suddenly and there was so much I did not know. You need to be prepared for the future.

  6. It is so much easier when you are grieving if all the decisions are done already. It is so important to know what loved ones want to do when they pass.

  7. There are so many things to think about! I think it’s easier to plan while they are alive so you don’t have to worry about all those little details while you are mourning your loved one.

  8. It’s really horrible to have to make so many decisions when someone passes. There’s already enough to deal with, without worrying about all the small details.

  9. Thank you for the reminder about having these conversations. They may be difficult to have, but they are necessary. I don’t even know that I know all the answers about myself!

  10. This is such a hard thing to think about but totally needs to b e discussed. We went through this with my grandma passing, and I remember all of the things we needed to do.

  11. Will have to pull up my big-girl pants and take a look at that 4-step guide, thanks for the heads up! I’m such a worrier. I worry about what either myself or my husband would go through if the unthinkable happens much sooner that I expect.

  12. I’m so glad you wrote a post on this very important topic. I know in my family, we don’t talk about death too much. This really got me thinking, as we have to accept that it inevitably happens and the best thing we can do is honor our loved ones’ last wishes. I will definitely talk to the husband about this, and also my brother regarding our parents. Thanks for the insight.

  13. 87 things. ??? Holy. I was in a very very sad overwhelmed space when my Mom passed away suddenly 2 1/2 years ago. I am grateful my brother and I talked about some of this with her and I am so grateful as well that I had his support and strength to manage this time. We knew some of her wishes. But I can tell you clearly that every small detail is heartbreaking and hard. Planning ahead is wise with your loved ones. It’s a brutally sad thing to have to go through. I will forever remember standing in the florists with my brother thinking – Now I am buying flowers for my mom’s funeral. And just crying and thinking dammit, now I am buying flowers for my Mom’s funeral and I didn’t want for it to be happening. But it was happening and we had all these small decisions to make and choices and I was mad and sad and overwhelmed and crying myself to sleep. You cannot predict or manage death. You can speak to each other and understand how to best honour a loved one when they pass. These are incredibly important conversations.

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