There is an old joke that goes “the only thing certain in life is death and taxes.” Obviously whoever made that remark never got to meet a rich man with more tax loopholes than the United States has illegal immigrants. But one thing in life is certain and that’s death. And with that certain death are the certain expenses that come with it.
In business we are trying to find the best balance for all: the employees, shareholders, customers, suppliers, government and the community. Demands of each change with time. For example, in recent years the governments drive for improve workplace health and safety, minimizing and controlling pollution have come to the fore. Twenty years ago they were just being thought about. Forty years ago, they were non-issues. Times change. The new balance must be found with the changing times.
One of the biggest issues to deal with when planning a funeral is cost. In some cases, the death may have been expected and funds may have been secured. In other cases, a surprise occurrence could leave a family shocked and without financial means to take care of preparations.
Due to our internal and external differences, I will be fooling myself indeed if I claim to provide a clear way of rising up to our every day challenges. But I can highlight some of the positive things that emanate from the so called problems thereby making you change how you use to see them and as a result develop the kind of mindset needed to boldly face your challenges without going down with them.
Last week the principal at my sons’ school lost his adult daughter. The kids were told in a very general way about this and the parents (informed beforehand) could take over from there in any way they saw fit. It is our religious tradition to visit the family in mourning in the week following the funeral. This was (thanks be) the first time in a couple of years that we had such a visit to make and my husband and I decided to bring the two older boys along. They each have a relationship with their principal (good so far!) and we believe that comforting the bereaved is a sacred obligation.
Yes what we call problems are nothing but opportunities to bless other human beings. Consider this scenario of an Igbo man whose wife died a couple of days ago. He is grief-stricken beyond words, inconsolable and deeply agitated. This is natural of course. But listen carefully and you will soon hear from among the people on condolence visit words like, “Chief, I hope that you have not forgotten that I am a coffin case maker?” “When you are making arrangements for the band remember that my band is the best in this area, please take heart”. “Have you made arrangements for the people that will cook? I know one woman who can do it very well”. And so and so fort.
Like the untimely death, of our father who always said ‘it is better to wear out than to rust out’ and ‘I want to die in the bush with my boots on’. He did both wear out and die in the bush with his boots on, while getting his winters wood to keep warm.
Next, decide on the kind of ceremony to hold. There are those who want to have the traditional service, while others prefer a simpler one. Most of the time, the deceased may indicate the ceremony that he wants in his last will and testament. So you have to refer to this document beforehand. Last of all, you have to consider the cost as well. There are a lot of funeral homes offering complete burial packages these days. Be meticulous in selecting a package that will best answer to the intentions of the deceased. This will definitely be necessary if no mention was made in the will.