by Daniel Applegate
President, Arlington Memorial Gardens
When we’re on the very uncomfortable mental terrain of considering our own mortality, it becomes comforting to fool ourselves while engaging in some mythical thinking. For instance, many of us avoid thinking about pre-planning and participating in “The Dialogue” by telling ourselves, “Hey, I’ve got lots of life insurance, that's all I need to do."
An insurance policy doesn’t assure your loved ones that the selections they have been forced to make comply with your preference in terms of mausoleum entombment rather than earth burial, or vice versa. Insurance doesn’t assure your family members that they’re selecting the types of merchandise that you’d prefer or the expenses you'd approve.
Pre-Planning: Assurance for Your Family Members
And an insurance policy most certainly doesn’t eliminate the torturous guesswork that your family would engage in at the time of your death. Only pre-planning does that; insurance does not. So, while insurance is unquestionably wise – and insuring -- it’s pre-planning that is assuring.
At Arlington Memorial Gardens, we take a great deal of pride in helping others in planning, choosing and making decisions that are right for you and your family. In selecting Arlington Memorial Gardens, you will receive attentive, comprehensive and professional care from our Advisors whether you are planning in advance for your own arrangements or making arrangements for a loved one.
Our goal is to get to know you, to build a relationship with you so that we can provide you with the appropriate information that will enable you to make sound decisions. But before we can do that, you must first make a conscious choice to engage yourself, and those around you, in what we call "The Dialogue," the active discussion of planning for your cemetery needs.
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.
Make Decisions for Yourself
Yet, there are several compelling reasons why you should pre-plan, and, the list includes both emotional and financial considerations. 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.
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.