Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Final arrangements

For some time now, there is one thing I have been trying to do that seemed like an impossible task to complete: Make final arrangements for my dog, Chewbacca. Chewie is almost 20 years old and, given that he has a bunch of medical problems, I am holding out hope he will live to see his 20th B-day in a couple of months. But I know that he does not have too much time left with us, so I have started the very difficult task of arranging for his burial at a pet cemetery.

But if I thought even getting started with all that was hard, I first had the difficulty of meeting with the lady who manages the pet cemetery!

I first contacted her through email several months ago. At this time, I was subscribed to quite a few newsletters, so I was getting SEVERAL emails a day. It got to be pretty annoying, especially when I did not have time to read those several emails every day. This, however, meant my communication with this lady got buried in that avalanche of emails! I FINALLY got through all of those emails, promptly unsubscribed from all that daily stuff (well, except for the parenting newsletter and book review newsletter) then reached out to her again.

The next problem was setting up a time and day for me to come in. We played email tag for a while there with different days and different times, and then there were times we each had to reschedule.

Finally, I was on my way to see her today. But the “fun” of me having trouble getting there wasn’t over quite yet, because, wouldn’t you know it, I ended up going to the wrong location! I went to the address that was on the web site but that was NOT the correct address. Thankfully, the lady there knew how to sign, so after I told her I am deaf when I could not understand her, she started fingerspelling and telling me where to go. Then she gave me the CORRECT address.

On my way there, I started to wonder, is there a reason WHY I can’t get to this place? I believe things happen for a reason, so I was really wondering if all of these roadblocks were one big stop sign warning me to go no further … for some reason or another.

Nevertheless, I DID make it to the correct address today. I FINALLY got over there! We sat down and talked about what we (as in, me and my family) wanted for Chewie’s final arrangements. I told her we would like a burial and headstone on his grave. I picked out a very lovely casket and we worked out a payment plan. The whole thing is quite pricey (almost $3000!) but fortunately I am able to make payments to cover everything. I also arranged to cover the down payment.

I also walked around the cemetery with her and the two groundskeepers and picked out his space. The cemetery was so pretty and Chewie’s space is near a gazebo as well as a little area for children to play or for someone to sit and read.

To say the least, the whole process was depressing. I know this was an important thing to do but it still made me sad. But I am glad I did it. Chewie deserves a proper burial. After almost 20 years with us, he has earned it! He has been such a wonderful, loyal and sweet friend and a cherished member of the family. At the very least, I am glad I did this for him, because now I know that if anything happens to him, he’ll have a permanent place of rest.

This certainly made me think that maybe I should take care of my own final arrangements, too. I have read stories of people who lost an aunt or a parent and how that person took care of ALL of their final arrangements themselves in their lives, and what a relief it had been to the surviving family members. So I think I should do that, too. I’d hate to have something happen to me and leave my husband and/or children with the cost of a casket and funeral! I don’t want to put that on them. I would rather they be able to move on with everything without worrying about what is paid for or how to pay for it or where I’ll be buried. I know, it’s a depressing topic and pretty morbid, but it is certainly something a person of my age (late 30s) should think about. Taking care of important things is one of my resolutions for the year, so this might as well be one more thing to put on that list. Maybe it will give me peace of mind for what happens after it is my time, too.


Anonymous said...

aww that is sad. You know, we have always buried our pets in our backyard. I can see the draw of a pet cementary though, if we lost our house, we wouldn't have them there to visit anymore. For now we are still here though.
I can't imagine why you are worried about your own burial Dawn, lol. You are barely middle aged woman. (nancy)

Dawn Colclasure said...

Thanks for the comment, Nancy. If it was possible, I would want us to stay right where we are forever because I love this house and this neighborhood is awesome. Even though we don't own the house, but it's a nice thought. Still, I know that might not happen, so I decided to have Chewie buried at a pet cemetery. As to my own plans, I know! LOL But given how expensive funerals and caskets are, I'll probably finally pay it all off just in time before I croak! Also, nobody knows when their last day will be. The future is not certain. Anything could happen and I could end up dying before I turn 40! And like I said, I'd hate to leave something like that on my surviving family, so I'll take care of it myself.

Dawn Colclasure said...

And I hope you and your family will get to stay at your house for a very long time! :)