Lessons in Preplanning a Funeral from Nora Ephron

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When preplanning funerals at funeral homes in Englewood, OH, it’s always a good idea to see how other people preplanned their funerals. It can provide a framework to ensure that your wishes are carried out and to make sure that all the details are not left to chance.

Nora Ephron (Sleepless in Seattle, When Harry Met Sally, and Silkwood, among others) kept her acute myeloid leukemia diagnosis secret from most people. When she succumbed to pneumonia on June 26, 2012, it was a shock to many people. However, although Ephron kept her illness to herself, she made meticulous plans for her funeral.

When the acclaimed actress Meryl Streep gave her one of her finest performances to a select audience at the Lincoln Center a few days later, her role had been carefully scripted by Ephron months or years earlier.

Ephron laid out the plans for her funeral in a folder named simply “Exit.” She specified every detail of the service from start to finish. Nothing was left to chance. In a thoughtful, personal, and helpful gesture, Ephron made it easier for her friends and family to grieve and start the road to moving forward without her with them.

Many people don’t leave funeral instructions, but this is one of the lessons Ephron provided. Despite the fact that most people recognize the important of having funeral plans, they never actually get around to making them. Much of this has to do with Western culture’s discomfort with death: thinking about it, talking about it, being around it, and experiencing it. It’s as though if we avoid it at all costs, then death won’t happen to us. And, yet, it will, whether we prepare for it or not.

By not formalizing funeral instructions – and that means writing them down and communicating them to the people who need to know – an extra burden and more stress is put on our families when we die, because they have to figure out what we would have wanted, where we would have wanted it, and how we would have wanted it.

To effectively plan your funeral, one aspect is to be decisive about what you want. Do you want to be cremated or buried? If you’re cremated, what should be done with the cremains? If you’re buried, where do you want to be buried? Do you want a service? If so, should it be a funeral service or a memorial service? If you’re a military veteran, do you want a military funeral? Do you want a grave marker or gravestone? What should it say?

It’s important to not worry about planning from beyond the grave. By taking all this extra time, effort, and work out of your family’s hands, you are actually giving them the incredible gift of being able to grieve without having to put all their focus on the planning and execution aspects of the funeral process. It is one of the most beautiful and generous ways to say “I love you” one more time.

For additional information about preplanning funerals at funeral homes in Englewood, OH, our caring and knowledgeable staff at Glickler Funeral Home & Cremation Service is here to assist you. You can visit our funeral home at 1849 Salem Ave., Dayton, OH 45406, or you can call us today at (937) 278-4287.