The Trip You’re Not Packed For

Photo courtesy of Edith Isidoro-Mills

By Lorretta Guazzini –

 It seems like it has been a long, cold winter. Sometimes I feel like I’m on the wrong side of death because it seems like you can never be prepared enough. That’s why I’m trying to give you all information, to take care of you – before death.

I’ve thought of all the families that have lost a loved one over the holidays. Death is never easy, but it seems to be magnified when it is around the Christmas holiday. I’ve dealt with many families over this last year and have seen many problems that they have had to deal with – I can’t stress it loud enough, PASSWORDS. Write them down, keep them in a notebook, and not in your phone.

I want to share a story with you that I think will hit home with most of you. A man and wife were spending a night in Fallon at one of our local hotels. They had moved from Spokane to Arizona. They were coming home from visiting family in Spokane, when she became ill and died in the hotel room. He had left his phone at home and they only had hers. But, he didn’t know the password to unlock it and it had all the family phone numbers in it. He was able to contact his son, who flew in and the two had to drive back to Arizona to retrieve his phone to be able to notify the family of her death.

They tried the local cell phone company, but there was nothing they could do for him. It seems extreme, but it is the norm. We have put information in our computers and cell phones, and for whatever reason, we haven’t thought to share that with at least one person. For some people everything is lost, you are stuck, without knowing what bills to pay or even not knowing important phone numbers. People – write down your passcodes and tell someone you trust where they are.

Here I go again on Last Wishes – and wills. I can’t tell you how many families arrive at the funeral home not ever having the conversation about death and last wishes. They were going to do it but just put it off because there was never a good time.  It was always put on tomorrow’s list of to-dos. We are all going to take “that” trip – please help your family and get packed for it.

I know as a young adult my mother “tried” to tell us of her last wishes. She placed a business card on the table and said, “just call these people, it’s all taken care of when I die.” But all you think is, “Oh, no, too much information – Mother die??? Not mine!” Well, guess what – I sure wished I had listened. Nothing had been taken care of except two plots in a local cemetery, the music she wanted played and the color of flowers on her casket.

When your parents tell you they made their final arrangements, go over it with them. Ask questions, call the person who has written it and ask questions. There is a lot of difference between a pre-need and a pre-arrangement. A pre-need is when you go into a funeral home and tell them what you want as your final disposition. You can pick out flowers, memorial folders, music, poems, casket, urn, cemetery and you pay for all of it.  It’s locked in and the funeral home has to carry out all of your plans and the cost doesn’t change, except for the cash advances. A pre-arrangement is when you go into the funeral home and do all of the same things, but you don’t pay anything. There is a lot of difference, especially when your family thinks it’s all been taken care of.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to call me, 775-423-8928



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