In the world of funerals and end of life issues I often hear families saying they want to “honor” the wishes of the deceased. Often, those wishes are very limited because they just relate to the handling of the body, buried, cremated etc. They also might be limited because there had been little if any discussion about these end of life plans.
“Honoring” is a very important and significant part of end of life issues, yet can get very consfusing without some understanding of circumstances and reflection on family dynamics. When we are confronted by end of life events in our family we can often feel like our world is out of control. It can present itself in many ways such as medical emergencies (falls, accidents, etc) where in the blink of an eye our world is turned upside down and everything changes. We can feel out of control by having to rely on others to help us navigate through life experiences we have little if any experience with (nursing homes, hospitals, funeral homes, etc). And, the number one reason for feeling out of control and the most significant evidence we have is not being able to sustain life indefinitely, dying.
Loss of control can physically shut us down, numb us to a point of malfunction and sometimes is all families are emotionally capable of. Yet, If one is able to relinquish control and go with the flow of the human experience, it can open a door to the most remarkable and life affirming experience one can imagine. While honoring ones wishes have value, please remember, it’s really about honoring ones life and how they lived it. If done well honoring and celebrating life can affirm meaning and purpose that connects us with love, hope and a peace that passeth all understanding.
“Blessings on your journey”