Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Family Holidays a Perfect Time for “The Dialogue”

by Daniel Applegate
President, Arlington Memorial Gardens

The holiday season is one of those great times when families set aside the time to travel to be together.  It is, as we know, "the most wonderful time of the year."
Holidays are the perfect time for "The Dialogue" -- and this setting at Arlington Lake is the perfect place for holiday photos.
And while we certainly wouldn't want to extinguish the flame of the warm and fuzzy feelings of being together, the holiday family get together is often favorable to have what we at Arlington Memorial Gardens refer to as "The Dialogue."  Having "The Dialogue" is all about engaging in that very difficult conversation that would enable you to confidently manage a crisis situation, an illness or a death, for instance, when typically a profound sense of disorientation sets in.

There is nothing extraordinary about The Dialogue, except that many people avoid it like the plague. It's hard to fault that avoidance because, let's face it, nobody wants to think and talk about their own death.  Yet, there are several compelling reasons why we should -- and, the list includes both emotional and financial considerations. 

Having The Dialogue Is Love in Action

But perhaps the most compelling reason of all is this: if we don't participate in The Dialogue ourselves, others will be forced to have it at the time of our death, making important, and incredibly personal, decisions that we should have made ourselves. We strongly encourage you to begin thinking about, and engaging in, The Dialogue, between you and your loved-ones, something like this dialogue.

The Dialogue should include a variety of topics and is the best way to begin pre-need planning to make decisions about what will happen after death.  Here are some reasons why you should begin having The Dialogue with those you love:
• You plan how you and your life will be remembered.
• You get the best value for your money.
• You mitigate the trauma of your loved ones making important decisions while they are mourning.
• You exercise control over what happens.
• You spare your loved ones the possibility of disagreeing over what to do.
• You’ve mapped out a plan from which your loved ones can make decisions based on your wishes and not their guesses.
• You have time to make smart consumer choices purchasing only those services or items you want.
• You avoid burdening friends or distant relatives with the responsibility if you have no immediate family.
The Family Advisors at Arlington Memorial Gardens can assist in arranging the most customary and traditional services or provide guidance in helping you plan a service emphasizing distinctively personal touches, such as favorite music and songs and digitized photography and/or videos.
If you are prepared to pursue your planning or in acquiring additional information, please contact Arlington Memorial Gardens and request specific information that would be helpful to you in making your planning decisions.

Of course, we encourage you to contact our office and speak with one of our Arlington Memorial Gardens Family Advisors who will be pleased to work with you in providing information regarding your cemetery needs, and believe it or not, there are a plethora of issues that you should consider.

The holidays are a time for sharing joy with your family, and planning for your cemetery and funeral arrangements is love in action – for you and your family. Ask yourself this question: "Will I find comfort in knowing that I’ve reduced much of the emotional and financial burden from my family by planning in advance?”

Daniel Applegate became part of the Arlington Memorial Gardens organization in 2001 and has worked in the cemetery industry since 1981, including serving as Secretary/Treasurer and then as President of the Ohio state cemetery association.  He was appointed by Ohio Governor George Voinovich and served two terms on the Ohio Cemetery Dispute Resolution Commission, Ohio's cemetery oversight agency. He is a graduate of The Ohio State University holding a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science.