Adrian was the matriarch of the family. She’d raised 4 children, and lost her husband six years prior to getting sick. She passed in the early hours of a gloomy Tuesday morning. On Tuesday afternoon, her entire family walked in to make arrangements.
“Mama was our queen, we need to do it big.”
“She didn’t like flash.”
“We should do all white roses everywhere.”
“You know she hated flowers.”
“She deserves the best money can buy.”
“She wanted a simple cremation.”
“I can’t believe she’s gone!”
I’d caption who said what, but I was unsure since everyone was speaking at once.
The minute one person would ask a question, another would talk over my answer. It was chaos.
Finally, I stood.
“It seems like you all have much to discuss and you’re not all on the same page yet as to the type if service you’re looking for. I’ve put together a few booklets for you, outlining everything we have to offer. Please, take the night to look them over and talk about it. Most importantly, think about what your mother would’ve chosen for herself. Then, you can give me a call with any questions, or to schedule an appointment to finalize everything. How does that sound?”
I don’t do same day appointments. At least, I do everything in my power to avoid them. Don’t worry, I have my reasons. I’ve talked about the fog before in several other posts. It tends to envelop people immediately after a loss, and more often than not, creates this sense of urgency.
While I understand the feeling that you need to be doing something to get things done, I want to focus on the importance of just taking a day.
The worst has already happened. You’ve lost someone and in these first moments, your entire life has changed. You’ve never known a world without them, and you’re just stuck. Not only are you thrust in this new world that you have no clue how to navigate, you’re also forcing yourself to make important decisions at the same time.
Contrary to what the hospitals, and assisted living facilities, and hospices say, you don’t have to decide on services immediately. I encourage every family I work with to take a day to sit, adjust, and talk with the people closest to them about what they would like to do next and how they want to honor the one they’ve lost. This way, once you come into the mortuary for your appointment, you have a clear vision of the celebration of life you want to plan, and you won’t be making unnecessary and expensive, emotional decisions.
It’s okay to just take a day.