"DEAR ABBY: My mother died two years ago. Both of my parents traveled extensively before their declining health prevented it. They purchased a prepaid cremation package that included shipping the cremains back to their home. My mother was cremated, but we had to wait more than six weeks for her cremains so we could have a funeral. Waiting for the funeral devastated my dad. While he was able to communicate and make decisions, he stated that he did not want to be cremated. So I took Dad to a funeral home and selected a funeral package that included a traditional burial, and called to cancel the cremation package. My sibling, who is the power of attorney, talked him out of it and reactivated the package!"
What a story.....although it not necessarily an uncommon story. How many times have you heard of family members fighting because the wishes of the dying were not clear to everyone involved?
It is important to realize that when completing an Advance Directive (AD) and picking A Health Care Advocate (HCA), its invaluable to have loved ones know and understand what the dying's wishes are. This helps to avoid confusion and animosity among people that are meaningful to the dying.
Please do not quickly complete AD and HCA. Take your time, work with a skilled advocate, be thoughtful about wishes and share this information with loved ones.