Oprah, Lady GaGa, Glee, American Idol, Biggest Loser…

These are popular names and TV shows.  When people see any of these in magazines, or in TV promos, minds start to focus.  When?  Where?  More…give me more of all of the mindless fluff and entertainment seems to be the mantra today.  If the headline of this post said “Death, dying, pre-need, pre-arrange your funeral”, I would guess you would not have tuned in to this blog, or twitter message or Facebook page.  Listen!  The clicking sound you hear is the sound of many of you who came looking for ‘Oprah, more Oprah please’ clicking

away from this blog.  That’s ok, goodbye.  Please visit again.  However, since you are here, read some of the articles and remember that we are here to answer your questions when a need arises in your family.

However, the ultimate reality show is when death visits someone you know. Unless your story is so sensational as to attract the attention of some movie star of the month who needs your story to keep them current in the tabloids by helping you (smile for the camera please), you will be facing many tough decisions and you will be facing some pretty hefty expenses.   If you are the person relegated to meeting with a funeral director or a family service counselor at a cemetery because someone you love has died, you can look to your right and to your left and over your shoulder and you will find that neither Oprah nor Lady GaGa are there to help.

This article has nothing to do with either of these wonderful, kind and generous ladies.  They would gladly help anyone they could.  In fact, both of these ladies help their fellow man both publicly and privately.  The point is there are so many of us commoners who cannot count on the blessings handed out by America’s royalty, our celebrities.  We have to face these difficult times using our own resources.  Sadly, death seldom comes at an opportune time…a time when we just happen to be flush with cash.  I see it daily.  People just like you and me come through the doors of cemetery offices and funeral homes around the country with little or no ability to pay for the kind of funeral that they would prefer.  And that is just the money side of things.

For those who can handle the financial aspect of a funeral, they are seldom prepared to have to make so many hard decisions so quickly.  When you look at just the main parts of funeral planning, the mind becomes numb:  what funeral home to use…what cemetery… should there be a public viewing and visitation or a private gathering… cremation and if so, with or without viewing and visition…burial in the ground or mausoleum entombment…scatter ashes or permanent placement…clothing…obituaries…calling friends and family….and the list goes on and on.

Most all of these things can be taken care of ahead of time.  You can meet with a funeral director and a cemetery person now, when you are alive and well and can do everything or do nothing…all on your terms.  It costs nothing but an hour or two to visit with caring Calumet Park Cemetery and Funeral Home staff and get all of your questions answered.  At Calumet Park, you can pre-arrange everything if you choose to, or do parts of a program at a time with monthly payments to fit your budget and with never any interest charges.  (in fact, we have graves from zero dollars to graves that cost $17,500 each – location, location, location)

It does take courage for some people t0 decide to visit a cemetery if they don’t have to.  I can say this, I have never talked to a widow who pre-arranged who wishes she had not pre-arranged.  It is an act of love and may be one of the most caring gifts you can give to each other or to your family to have everything taken care of in advance of need.  People pay on insurance their entire life and the only way it pays off is for them to die.  As strangely as it may be, nobody buys life insurance.  It really is death insurance.  Not a nickel is paid unless someone dies.  It is kind of like going to heaven.  Everybody wants to go but nobody wants to do what is necessary to get there…which is we must die first.

We look at our stars – at our Oprahs and our Lady GaGas, and our Elvis’s and our Kennedys and we twitter away our lives in so many mindless ways as a form of escapism.  And that is alright.  Some psychologists might even say, to a degree, it is healthy.  It is necessary for us to break away from the monotony and pressures of our every day lives, bumping elbows with the other rats as the race to survive continues.  Centuries before any of us were born and for centuries after we are forgotten, people will live vicariously through the success and glamour of our stars, our sports heroes, our idols – American or not.  However, occassionally it is a good idea to look at some of the absolutes that will confront us and handle them from a rational state of mind.  Little in this life is more absolute than our deaths.

The actual point of facing this truth is that most of us have the means and the ability to put most of the problems to rest that cling to the shirttails of a death by pre-arranging.  Once you have things in order, you will never have to be concerned again, forever as long as you will live, with the details except to meet one last time with a funeral director and with a cemeterian to sign a few final papers and to verify any last minute changes that you might want to make.

So, watch Oprah, enjoy Lady GaGa, love the Glee musical troupe and tune in to see how your American Idol favorites are doing.

      Eat that ice-cream sundae as you watch next year’s biggest loser lose weight.  Laugh, and love and enjoy your life.  Enjoy your movie stars and rock stars and your fantasies.  Complete your funeral arrangements and get on with living.  God gave us a beautiful planet with people as wonderful as you want them to be every where you look.  Enjoy your life because each day you are blessed with will contain its own surprises.  Only you can control the surprises that may hit you on the worst of those days when death overwhelms you so become a winner in your own reality show.  Call now for an appointment to at least see what you can do to be remembered, even after your own death, as a person who thought beyond instant gratification and cared enough to make good decisions for those you love.  Call 219-769-8803.

Visit our website at http://www.calumetparkcemetery.com

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