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‘Tis the Season

This season is about Peace on Earth, but what about Peace of Mind?  Believe it or not, talking about, or even better, writing down your wishes about your care after you pass, can contribute towards one’s peace of mind, the issue is breaking through our unease when we confront the idea of death.

Ultimately the issue at the end of the day is that we do not know what we do not know.  It might seem easier to just to “let your family handle your arrangements” or to “just toss you to the curb.”  While in writing that seems harsh, people have been saying this to funeral directors for years.  The hard truth is that this approach fails, that this approach can cause emotional harm, financial issues, and create additional stress for those you leave behind.

Did you know that a Power of Attorney expires upon death, and if you did not leave written authorization, that it falls to your next of kin (a spouse with dementia, or biological children that were disinherited or can’t get along, or someone further removed from you) to make your funeral arrangements?  This can lead to days turning into weeks, sometimes month, and a judge making the decision – this can drain your family emotionally and the finances of your estate.  Or perhaps a disinherited biological child will step forward and make the choices that they want and choices that probably won’t mirror what you would have wanted.  Designating an “agent of disposition” will alleviate this quandary.

Did you know that cremation is more legalistic in the state of Texas than burial?  You can be buried within 24 hours and without a signed death certificate in the State of Texas.  However, there is a 48 hour waiting period for cremation, the doctor must sign the death certificate and has up to 10 days in order to do so, your immediate next of kin has to sign a cremation authorization, and depending on the county you die in, there could be other required permits.  This means that it can take 2-10 days, or even more, to be cremated, especially if your family disagrees as to burial or cremation.  And don’t forget that you must either be embalmed or refrigerated within 24 hours.  However, if you provide self-authorization in writing that you want to be cremated, then your next of kin does not need to sign a cremation authorization which has the potential to speed up the process.  And if you include your wishes on refrigeration or embalming, that also removes a decision from the shoulders of your grieving family.

In my experience, families that preplan give a huge gift to the ones they leave behind.  Now those family members might not want to wake up on Christmas Day to a stocking stuffed with prearrangements, but when the time comes to use them, they will understand and be immensely grateful.

Telling the Story of Those Who Served

Written by Brittany Carrington,  Life Tribute Specialist.

Although I have not yet experienced the personal loss of someone serving in the U.S. military, I have been touched by those who have. Today on Memorial Day, join me in honoring the life of Lance Corporal Travis Desiato.  Please utilize the comments section to share the stories of other military members we have lost and honor those who have served.

Travis was a humble guy who didn’t like attention, but preferred meaningful one-on-one conversations where he could look a person in the eye. He was a team player. Whether in sports or military exploits, his concern was not for himself, but for the team.

Travis’ decision to join the Marines was born of his team spirit, love for his family and country and a long-time passion for helping others. According to Sam Mendales, a family friend, ”He believed the best way to serve his family and community was to enlist in the Marines.”  Following his outstanding performance in boot camp, he was offered an opportunity to serve on presidential duty. However, he turned it down in pursuit of his desire to serve in Iraq. “He felt most needed in Iraq,” Mendalez said.

He left behind his new wife and beloved parents and siblings to embark on a courageous journey to serve his country.

Marine Lance Cpl. Travis Desiato was killed by enemy action on November 15, 2004, at the age of nineteen while serving during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

During this time, the Americans, Iraqis and British had joined forces to defeat the Iraqi Insurgency stronghold in the city of Fallujah. The battle, known as the Operation Phantom Fury or the Second Battle of Fallujah, took place in November-December of 2004. It was led by the U.S. Marine Corp and has been noted as the bloodiest battle of the whole war.

Before his departure into the Marines, Travis instructed his family that, if he did not return, they were to tell people that “he did his job.”

Thank you, Travis, for doing your job to protect and honor my country. You courageously fought for the American cause and gave the ultimate sacrifice. You are a true American Hero.

Because of Travis, we can all have a greater appreciation for Memorial Day and what it represents: love, sacrifice, and freedom, and most importantly…heroism.

I can think of no better way to conclude this blog than with the words of his sister, Vanessa Desiato:

“The military made my brother become the man he was meant to be. He wanted to help people and did that by joining the Marines, the only thing he felt he needed to do. My brother has shown me what dedication, honor, and respect are. He has shown me what it means to be a hero.

To me, Memorial Day is the day we remember what it means to be a hero. Heroism is deeply rooted in the soldiers we say goodbye to with our tear-stained faces, and those we welcome home with those happier tears. Memorial Day is the day we thank those who did not get the joyous homecoming, or have since been laid to rest. It is the day we remember the heroes who gave everything for the soldiers serving next to them and the people they left at home.

Memorial Day is a day we are reminded of what combat veterans have given to this country, whether it’s years of service, the first year of their marriage, or their lives. Every combat veteran has given something to this country, without asking for anything in return. Memorial Day is a day to remember these men and women for who they are: heroes, who did their job.”

 

Sources:

“What Memorial Day means to Me” by Vanessa Desiato https://blog.mass.gov/hhs/veterans/what-memorial-day-means-to-me/

“Bedford Marine, 19, is killed in Fallujah” by Jack Encarnacao http://archive.boston.com/news/local/articles/2004/11/17/bedford_marine_19_is_killed_in_fallujah/

Best Marble Falls Funeral Home 2018

Thank you to our community for voting us the Best Funeral Home in Marble Falls for 2018 in the Reader’s Choice Awards published by The Highlander and The Burnet Bulletin.  We are honored that you trust us with your loved ones and value the service we provide.  We will continue to help our families make meaning out of loss and find joy in despair.

#yodo #putnamcares #onlyonechance#cremationdoneright #makemeaning #bestmarblefallsfuneralhome

 

#YODO

Although Drake popularized the term #YOLO (you only live once) in his song Motto that came out in 2011, Katherine Martin states that the term actually goes back to the 19th century.  So then it shouldn’t be much of a surprise to learn that the flip slogan #YODO (you only die once), while also around awhile, started gaining popularity in 2014 and became the centerpiece of “Dying Matters Awareness Week” in the United Kingdom.  At that time studies indicated that @83% of the people in Britain were uncomfortable speaking about death.  But by something so simple as a hashtag, #YODO, awareness was raised to help people come to terms about dying and bereavement.  Since then, #YODO has been utilized by funeral homes and bereavement counselors as a marketing tool to raise awareness of their brand and offerings.

Cremation Advocates by Putnam currently has two #YODO billboards located between Burnet and Bertram on Hwy 29 and on Hwy 71 heading into Spicewood.  With the help of Tosh.0, it has started to go viral on Facebook.  As the Premier Area Funeral Home and Crematory, our purpose is to generate buzz around an uncomfortable topic and to remind our community that since you only die once, then choose Putnam to ensure that your funeral or cremation is done well.