Why I am planning my Husband’s funeral while he is still alive

You know how the saying goes: The only two things that are guaranteed in life are death and taxes.  So why is it that we only plan for one of them?  When it comes to taxes we hire accountants, get advice from professionals, and spend the entire year trying to mitigate the damage come tax time.  Contrast that to the amount of time people spend talking about end of life care and funeral planning.  I bet you have had a discussion with your partner at least once in the last year about your taxes.  But have you ever had a conversation about what final arrangements you would like?  I am guess the answer is no.

why i am planning my husbands funeral pre-planning
Katie and Hub’s back in 2000 when we just started dating

Taxes and funerals are not pleasant to talk about, but both in the end are inevitable.  Is it because we have a firm deadline to file our taxes that we are more willing to open up the discussion and actually deal with them?  I feel like we sometimes lull ourselves into thinking we have all the time in the world to worry about final arrangements.  That there will be some secret warning sign to let us know when it’s time to have “the talk”.  Unfortunately life is not like that and there are times when very unexpected things can happen and you are faced with having to make many decisions during a very emotional period of time.  I bet my aunt thought she had more time when my uncle had a heart attack and passed away just a few months after my wedding.  I bet my grandma thought she had more time when my grandpa passed away suddenly in his sleep while on vacation in Florida.  And I bet that my friend thought she would have decades of time left with her husband before she lost him suddenly this summer.  We never know what the future holds for us.

why i am planning my husbands funeral pre-planning via LittleMissKate.ca
By 2013 our family had grown to a family of 4

It is not that we never think about what we would want for final arrangements, I am sure each of us ponders it a little every time we hear of a loved one passing away.  But it is not the type of thing we normally chat about around the dinner table or on a Friday night over a glass of wine.  However I do think that actually having a discussion around final arrangements is important.  It may not be the most comfortable or cheerful topic to bring up, but being prepared will help ease the burden at a difficult time.

Arbor Memorial Nature Walk Area

When Arbor Memorial reached out to me to discuss planning Hubs funeral my first thought was do we really need to deal with this now.  But the more I thought about it the more it made sense to be something that we talk about sooner rather than later.  I have gone through the funeral planning process for loved ones when we knew it was going to be expected and also for loved ones who left us by surprise.  I have to say that when we were able to be more prepared ahead of time it did make the process much easier.  After discussing with Hubs we decided to go forward with planning his simulated funeral.  I am looking forward to meeting with the Arbor memorial staff as they guide us through the steps of funeral planning.

I know that it’s not necessarily going to be an easy conversation to have.  And anyone who knows me knows that I am a bit of a crier when I’m talking about emotional subjects.  However I don’t want that to hold me back from having important conversations around what Hub’s would want for final arrangements.  I want to know what his feelings are around what he would like to see for a final resting place and also to do some research into the options and cost of arrangements.  You might think that we would have discussed this sort of thing already given that Hub’s dad passed away suddenly a year-and-a-half ago.  But at that time I think we were just so focused on the task of getting his dad’s arrangements done and emotionally exhausted ourselves that it was not something we discussed.


2016 Family Photo – on my how things have changed over the last 16 years

There is no time like the present to tackle a subject that can be difficult to talk about.  In the long run will payoff by helping to put our mind at ease for when we do you eventually need to plan Hub’s funeral.   The peace of mind of knowing what sort of arrangements he wants and what different options are out there will be worth it.  So this year we will not only be talking taxes but also talking about pre-planning Funeral arrangements with Arbor Memorial while we both still can.


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




22 thoughts on “Why I am planning my Husband’s funeral while he is still alive”

  1. Great and important post. I’ve just been through this with my mum. She passed away last month and, thank goodness, she and my dad had bought and paid for a pre-paid funeral package way back in the early 1970’s. We were SO grateful they had done this back then. Not only did it save money, it made a very difficult time so much easier than it would have been if we had to start the whole process from scratch. Ironically, it was through Arbor Memorial that they purchased their pre-paid funeral package.

  2. Yes, it’s crazy to think about planning things like that, but if you end up needing it sooner than you thought, you will be so glad you did (and I don’t just mean you specifically, but people in general).

  3. This is such a difficult topic to cover, but it really needs to be addressed. When we lost our daughter, it was so easy to get lost, Being prepared for the worst is so important, especially when it comes to life insurance and the emotional taxing it’s going to take. Keeping a go-to in case of a worst-case scenario can bring peace of mind to a tumultuous time.

  4. My husband and I have talked about it just a little bit, you are right it is not an easy topic to talk about. It is a necessary one and I do know basically what my husband would want when he dies. I pray that it will be a long long time from now.

  5. You are absolutely right, it is an awkward conversation to have… however as you mentioned, it’s better to have it now than waiting. We have not settled our stuff, but we plan to do so very soon. It will take away an unnecessary burden when the time comes.

  6. I used to think it was morose to discuss this. However, I have definite desires when it comes to my death, so I’ve made it very clear to my family what to do.

  7. Although a very tough topic, it’s always important to cover it between spouses. It seems like the both of you are well-informed and you have relayed the information very well to your readers. Thank you for this!

  8. Knowing your partner’s wishes when it comes to his/her funeral arrangements is important. When my mother was terminally ill we made her arrangements in advance. I then asked my husband what he wanted. Because he is military he has the option of being laid to rest at our national military cemetery in Ottawa. His answer was “I don’t know”. Clearly, we need to have a more in-depth discussion.

  9. I think this is a very important topic. I think it’s a great idea to plan a funeral, even when you’re still alive. It will make things easier when the time really does come.

  10. This is super hard to think about. I know it i inevitable but it is still something I try to to think of. I have mega anxiety after my dad died unexpectedly so I try not to think about it now.

  11. As difficult as it is I think it is brave and mature to deal with the reality of life events and how they can affect your family both emotionally and financially–And the sooner you have this conversation and put these plans into action the sooner you can have peace of mind and get on with the business of being a family!

  12. It really is important to look at these tough subjects ahead of time. It definitely can be tough but it sounds like you’ve found some great support.

  13. I think this is a very important topic. I think it’s a great idea to plan a funeral, even when you’re still alive. My husband and I still have to do some thing regarding that!

  14. This is such an important post. While i totally do not like talking about these issues, it’s so important we discuss them now and especially for our children.

  15. This is the toughest conversation but so important. When a loved one dies, you are too busy grieving to make these decisions and arrangements. My husband and I really need to have this conversation, and I need to have it with my parents, too!

  16. This is one of those areas that you don’t realize how important it is until someone passes away. Even something simple as the persons wishes (my Grandfather hated flowers and when he passed away people put flowers in his casket so we had to remove them) from masses to cremation are so important. It definitely will be the hardest conversation anyone will ever have. But it is so important! We even discussed (my husband and I) about starting to pay off the funeral costs now so one of us isn’t stuck with such a huge expense (or worse case scenario are children) when they are still grieving. Such a great post and reminder!

  17. This post was beautiful, love how your years together..but it also got me emotional. I have a hard time thinking about it, I do understand the importance of talking about these things with close loved ones BUT oh my is it difficult.

  18. Although a very emotional topic for me because i have a uncurable disease and don’t know what tomorrow might bring, it’s important to discuss and make the those decisions before you need them.

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