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What Is Your Motivation – Making Funeral Arrangements Out Of Love And Not Fear

What is motivation?  Motivation is used to describe WHY someone does something. Of course, there are a mountain of studies and theories, but simply stated, there are many different forces that guide and direct us.  If you look towards literature and the arts, you can simplify it even further.  From the bible to John Lennon, it appears as if “there are two basic motivating forces: fear and love.”

Let’s put this into perspective and think about weight loss.  Many people start their weight loss journey at their doctor or loved one’s urging to cure or improve a medical condition, thus potentially saving their life.  They are motivated by fear – fear of dying, fear of winding up in the hospital, fear of something that only loosing weight will solve.  However, once they reach their weight loss goal or receive a clean bill of health from their doctor, their motivation to lose weight and stay healthy is removed and many times, they revert to their unhealthy habits and regain the weight.  What has been found is that although fear can be an excellent motivator, especially following a life-threatening event, it is too uncomfortable and emotionally draining for us to stay in that mindset for very long.

In other words, fear is not sustainable.

But what happens when, while during their weight loss journey, people discover things that they love? Perhaps they can run and play with their kids without gasping for breath or without pain.  Perhaps their skin clears up.  Perhaps they like how they look in the mirror. What happens when they fall in love with the results of their weight loss and improved health?  When people replace their fear driven motivation with love driven motivation, then they are better able to sustain their weight loss and health.

In my role as a funeral director, I have seen a world of difference when someone makes funeral arrangements out of love rather than fear.  Typically, those who are motivated by love plan in advance, include their family or even their friends in their decisions, and think globally instead of selfishly.  On the other hand, I have seen those motivated by fear regret their decisions or make decisions based on prior negative experiences without understanding that funerals have changed and that their loved ones need some sort of ritual to build that positive foundation for grief.

So how can you approach death with love? At its simplest, by being prepared.  By writing down your wishes.  By securing payment for your funeral by purchasing life insurance, prepaying your funeral, or setting aside assets designated for funeral expenses.

You can also approach death with love by understanding that you do not know what you do not know and seeking out knowledge to make informed decisions. Knowledge is power and sharing knowledge is empowering. Did you know that in the state of Texas you can be buried within 24 hours, but it can take 2-10 days to have the legal authority to perform a cremation?  Or that some cemeteries will allow you to be buried without a casket? Or that a power of attorney expires upon death so if you do not have an authorized agent of disposition and your spouse has dementia or your biological children do not get along that your disposition might be determined in court? Or that you can have a meaningful service that does not include a church or a funeral home or a major expense?  Or that cremated remains can be made into bullets, tattoos, jewelry, coral reefs, paintings, or go into outer space?  Incomplete information creates false expectations and negative experiences.  Understanding the ins and outs of what happens when someone dies will enable and empower you to make the right decisions at the right time.

Finally, you can also approach death with love by being creative in ones preplanning approach and utilizing me as a resource and guide in helping you plan your final moments with love, so that your loved ones won’t have too.

So, what is your motivation?  When it comes losing weight, finding a new job, getting married, having a medical procedure, or even planning for life’s eventualities – what is motivating you to make the choices you made or are about to make?  Without motivation you simply cannot achieve anything.  The next time you admire someone’s accomplishment, including your own, it makes more sense to ask WHY they did what they did instead of HOW because, when the why is clear, the how is easy.

Modified from a speech given by Jessamyn Putnam at the Women Empowering Women event at the Vineyard B&B at Lost Creek Ranch on November 5, 2019.  Copyright 2019 Jessamyn Putnam.

Jessamyn Putnam at the Women Empowering Women event, pictured bottom row, second from the right.

Healing Hearts

Putnam Funeral Home and Crematory, LLC, which includes Cremation Advocates by Putnam in Marble Falls and Bertram Funeral Home in Bertram, is happy to be a Healing Hearts sponsor for Camp Agape, a free summer program for children grieving the loss of a loved one.

Registration is now open for the 2019 camp, which is scheduled for July 8-11 at Camp Buckner Retreat Center in the Texas Hill Country. Children between the ages of 7 and 12 attend Camp Agape at no cost to their families. Register eligible children now at the Camp Agape website –www.CampAgapeTexas.org.

We cannot say enough good things about this organization. They are wholly committed to helping families that have experienced trauma from the loss of a loved one and we have personally witnessed how their efforts change children’s lives in the Highland Lakes area.

Most children come away from their Camp Agape experience able to process their grief and move past it. There are numerous examples of these children now serving in their organization as leaders and taking what they learned from their hardship and using their experience to grow and help others overcome death. This camp provides opportunities for experiences that can’t be found anywhere else. Many times, these children have not left their loved one’s side since the death occurred. This camp pulls them out into a “camp environment” to have fun, process their grief, learn to move forward, and also to realize they are not alone. The children see there are many other children going through what they are going through. In addition, they receive professional help from counselors and have buddy counselors that have walked the path they are walking.

After the camp is over, each child also has the opportunity to come to a Fall Retreat and process grief with their family and also meet other friend’s families. Many of the children that attend camp make life-long friendships with other children attending because they are able to bond at such an intimate level.

In addition to donating to this organization, we volunteer as well. It has been a wonderful experience.  Camp Agape will change the future of a child’s life… guaranteed.

To find out more about Putnam, Cremations, Burials, Preplanning, Celebrations of Life, Monuments, Grief and Aftercare, please visit www.CremationAdvocates.net or www.PutnamCares.com.

Premier Marble Falls Funeral Home and Cremation Advocates

Cremation Advocates by Putnam’s client families have only positive things to say about their experience arranging cremations, services, and celebrations with Putnam.  100% of our survey responses from 2018 say that they would recommend Cremation Advocates by Putnam to their friends and family members and they would use Cremation Advocates by Putnam for themselves or another family member.  98% of survey responses said that they believe that they received an incredible value for the price of services.  This was emphasized by comments from those who had recently attended or arranged services at other funeral homes.  These comments touched on the fact that our cremation package pricing was inclusive of everything needed for cremation and their were no hidden fees or surprises, that there were no high pressure sales, that our offices were contemporary and filled with natural sunlight and looked nothing like a funeral home, and that our staff is compassionate, understanding, patient and kind.  Client families found that we care about our families and will move heaven and earth to ensure that they are able to make meaning out of an emotional time.  Our client families also appreciated our active involvement in the community to include the incredible amount of volunteer hours our owners and staff pour into the Highland Lakes, as well as monies donated.

We at Cremation Advocates by Putnam appreciate our client families’ sincere and heartfelt responses.  We created our Marble Falls location to meet the changing needs and wants of our clients. We are honored to serve our client families and always pledge to be an advocate and walk our families through their moments of stress and uncertainty.  With clients coming to us to arrange cremations and (yes, even burials) from Horseshoe Bay, Spicewood, Marble Falls, Meadowlakes, Burnet, Bertram, Round Mountain, Johnson City, Fredericksburg, and Austin, it is clear that our cremation client families are sharing their positive experiences with others.

We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by calling 830-798-8413.  Our office is opened Monday thru Friday (excluding holidays) from 9-4 and by appointment.  We ask that you call and schedule an appointment to ensure that we are available to give you the time you need.  We also own Bertram Funeral Home in Bertram (appointment only, 512-355-8201) and Putnam Funeral Home and Crematory, LLC in Kingsland, TX which is open 7 days a week from 8-5 and by appointment (325-388-0008).  More information can be found at www.CremationAdvocates.net and www.PutnamCares.com.

 

Steve Dishman

Victor McCuller

Mary Katherine Fogle

Getting it Right

Putting Your House in Order

Preparing for death is not something most of us want to do.   We know it is inevitable, but sometimes we hope that it won’t happen or we just choose not to think about it.  The thing is though, that if we do not put some sort of order to our affairs before we die, then we are forcing those we love to put order to possible chaos at one of their most vulnerable and emotional moments, potentially creating an unnecessary hardship or worsening the grief they feel.

Some things to consider:

  1. Make a will and select an executor who is trustworthy and will use sound judgement in making decisions.
  2. Create a record of personal affairs that lists contacts and relevant account information for your attorney, CPA, financial advisor, realtor, executor, banks, insurance, retirement, credit cards, debt, property owned, safe deposit box, automobile registration, etc.
  3. Sign and notarize a written authorization stating whether you want to be cremated or buried and with which Funeral Home (if already selected). On another page, provide information (if applicable) on cemetery plot, disposition of ashes, service or celebration of life requested (church, synagogue, funeral home, or other), and what music, readings, photos, videos, etc. you might want utilized.
  4. Provide biographical information such as education, religious affiliation, employment history, fraternal, service, social, and/or union membership, boards served on, positions held, special recognition, family information (next of kin, children, etc) and/or your veteran’s service record, as this information will be needed for the death certificate, veteran’s benefits, and/or an obituary.

Whether you feel overwhelmed or are ready to act – call or email us at Putnam Funeral Home and Crematory in Kingsland, TX (325-388-0008, staff@putnamcares.com) or Cremation Advocates by Putnam in Marble Falls (830-798-8413, staff@cremationadvocates.net) – to schedule an appointment to discuss how you can help your loved ones tomorrow by being proactive today.

Honoring our Deceased Veterans

We at Putnam have a proud history of serving military client families.

One of the ways that we honor our deceased honorably discharged veterans or those veterans who have died while on active duty, is by coordinating services with the Highland Lakes Honor Guard, a tax-exempt organization consisting of war veterans from every branch of the Armed Forces of the United States who have served their country honorably. The Highland Lakes Honor Guard is certified by the Department of Defense as Authorized Providers to render military funeral honors for deceased members who have been honorably discharged from military service or who have died while on active duty.

Whether burial or cremation, the Highland Lakes Honor Guard appears in full uniform at graveside, funeral home, church or private location. They provide a flag display consisting of the National, Texas and POW/MIA flags together with the service branch flag under which the deceased veteran has served. They provide a rifle squad to execute a full three-volley rifle salute, a bugler to sound TAPS, a flag folding ceremony wherein the symbolic meaning of each of the 13 folds is explained, insertion of spent casings from the three-volley rifle salute into the folded flag, and the presentation of the folded flag to the next of kin.

These services are offered free to surviving members of the decedent’s family within Burnet or Llano County, Texas. Although donations are appreciated,they are not asked for, expected or required for the services offered. What this organization does is an act of love for those who have honorably and faithfully served their country and have now gone to their eternal rest.

This is just one of the many ways in which Putnam helps you personalize a service or life celebration and make meaning out of loss.

 

 

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