Death. It’s Back!
By RW Ward
a bad penny, Death will make a dramatic comeback to the American consciousness
in the next three decades. Death will touch one in four Americans this year on a
personal level. It might even come for you. More than likely it will be someone
close to you if you are the one in four Americans who will feel Death's awful
finality and loss this year.
us are woefully inadequate to handle not only the emotional but also the
practical ramifications of deaths inevitable visit to us. We have managed to
avoid the reality of death in our lives because it has remained at bay for
nearly three decades.
the early 1970’s death personally affected one in four of us about every seven
years. Someone close to us or in our immediate family passed away at least once
in each decade we were living through.
the 70’s medical science has managed to postpone death’s visit to us, so now
we experience the death of someone close to us, on average only once every 13 or
14 years. Death’s out of sight, out of mind status has taken it from our
conscious concerns, relegating it to an interesting abstract thought for most of
will make a dramatic comeback over the next 30 years. Most of us are not
prepared. We have no idea of what we are even supposed to know about it.
Unfortunately, most of us have avoided even the thought of death because it is
our hope death will just go away and not come our way, it is coming and with a
vengeance. The death rate currently at approximately 2.4 million per year will
surge to over 3.5 million between now and 2035. This translates into an
unprecedented 50% increase in the US death rate. The return to our lives being
affected by a death every seven years will again be part of our lives in the
death is making its comeback is very simple, Baby Boomers. Beginning in 1946 and
continuing through 1963 the United States experienced an unprecedented increase
in live births. This bulge in a particular stratum of the US demographic has
affected every aspect of our society from its favorite movies to its attitudes
in politics and religion.
enormous bulge in population moves through the timeline of life, it is now
poised to dominate life’s final fact, the inevitability of death to all living
things. A fact the medical profession has been able to postpone and extend up
hourglass has now been turned over for the last time and the remaining sands of
the baby boomer’s generation allotted amount are beginning to slip through.
Over the next thirty years the actuary tables will again reassert themselves
into the American vernacular and its very fabric. The problem is we as a society
are not prepared nor much interested in facing this truth.
have shown that most married couples, on average, have never spent even 20
minutes discussing the subject of death on a personal level. That fact is an
astounding and revealing statistic when you think of all that results from
death’s inevitable occurrence.
you asked most us what the phrase “final arrangements” means, most of us
would say it had something to do with our hotel reservations or plane
connections. Most would never connect “final arrangements” with its true
meaning, the systematic and thoughtful preparation for our own or a loved ones
funeral, cemetery burial or cremation.
we don’t connote these “final arrangements” with the subject of death and
ourselves, we go ahead making sure we have taken care of those hotel
accommodation and airline tickets. We never take, even a moment, to even think
about making sure we have an itinerary for the most important trip we will ever
make, save the one we came into to the world on, namely our own birth.
us would be surprised to find that thinking and doing something about our own
“final arrangements” isn’t really all that morbid nor unusual. We just
witnessed how “final arrangements” is used by some of the most influential
and respected in our world. The death, funeral and final resting of Pope John
Paul II is a prime example of “final arrangements” practiced in its purest
form. It isn’t the only example as Prince Renair’s final arrangements
really is little difference in the mechanics of making final arrangements for a
Pope, King, Prince, Pharaoh or ones self. It simply is that someone must do it.
out how is not hard; if we can get over the fear of what it is we are trying to
make final arrangements for, specifically ourselves. Funeral directors, clergy
and books are all available to help ferret out what we need to know.
Internet has now become a good source for getting the necessary information to
help make plans. Try typing the phrase “final arrangements” into Google,
MSN, Yahoo, AOL or your favorite Search Engine and just follow the links to a
wealth of information.
people, besides fear, don’t try to make final arrangements because they expect
it cost money and they don’t want to tie up their savings on something that
has nothing to do with living. There are pros and cons as to whether someone
should fund their final arrangements once they are made. Some say use insurance
instead while others say insurance should be for our survivors and funding our
final arrangements plans should be done separately. It really should be an
individual decision based on our own financial situation.
thing to remember about why one should make final arrangements is that when our
loved ones face the terrible anxiety and fear that inevitably accompanies our
death, the most critical question they always have is not can they afford this
for us but rather is this what we really would have wanted.
haven’t given the simple knowledge they are doing what we wanted, by not
leaving, at least, some kind of final arrangements guidelines, we have
squandered one of the most precious gifts one can give to a loved one in
distress, comfort in the face of the loss of us.
Details on Information and Advice in the article please visit one of the
Arrangements Network at: http://www.finalarrangementsnetwork.com
The Cemetery Registry at:
Ward, Essexville, Michigan, USA
The Cemetery Registry @ Mail
RW Ward is Founder
and Managing Director of The New Concept Consultants Organization which conducts
Death Care, Senior and Mature Adult consumer market trend research and
consulting from its offices in Essexville, Michigan, USA. The author writes and
studies marketing and consumer trends in the death care industry as well as the
Senior and Mature Adult markets and around the world. His industry experience
includes some of the world's largest death care providers.
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