150px-Candleburning.jpgThe mother of a my husband’s brother-in-law passed away early this morning. Although the mom was ill for the last two months, her death was still sudden. A few minutes before she passed away, she scribbled a note saying “Welcome J and A”. It’s like she knew she was leaving. Since the children are all based abroad, they had to rely on friends and relatives to check on things while they prepared for their trip to the Philippines. How stressful it must be for them to think of all the funeral arrangements. Having experienced 5 deaths in my immediate family from 1976 to 2003, the stress alone in funeral arrangements is overwhelming. While on our way to the chapel tonight, I told my husband that we should consider having funeral insurance (I forgot the term for it). I can’t imagine having to burden our children with our funeral.

When my father died in 2003, the “funeral assistance” component of my sister’s Philamlife plan did a wonderful job of coordinating paperwork, details for the coffin, the funeral car etc. All we had to do was approve it or provide suggestions. This was not the case when my son died in 2000. One does not expect to bury your child so one is totally unprepared for this formidable task. An accidental death in a city far away from home added to burden. Where can we get 70,000 pesos at 7:00 PM to pay for the coffin? Where can we get the death certificate at this time of the night? On a saturday night? What ? Where? How? By God’s grace, friends and political connections produced the cash and the death certificate. The task of choosing a coffin is the most depressing job ever but it needs to be done. My 14 year old daughter sensed my hesitation and held my hand as we shopped for a coffin. Walking like a zombie, I jolted from my stupor when she pointed to a purple coffin.

A purple coffin , mom!

huh?

Oh no, dear. Luijoe is a boy and he can’t be buried in a purple coffin.

For a brief moment, mother and daughter laughed. We found humor in an otherwise depressing situation.

See, if there was a funeral events coordinator ( much like a wedding events coordinator), we would not have to face such a
daunting and crazy task. In my deepest despair, I might have ended up agreeing with Lauren’s choice of a purple coffin.

Noemi Lardizabal-Dado (1231 Posts)

You may contact Noemi (noemidado @ gmail.com) for speaking and consultancy services in the following areas: Parenting in the Digital Age (includes pro-active parenting on cyber-bullying and bullying) ; Social Business ; Reinventing One’s Life; and social media engagement. Our parenting workshop is called "Prep to Prime (P2P): Parenting in the Digital Age (An Un­Workshop)" P2P Un­Workshops are conducted by two golden women in their prime, Noemi and Jane, who have a century’s worth of experience between them. They are both accomplished professionals who chose to become homemakers. This 180­degree turn also put them on a different life course which includes blogging, social media engagement and citizen advocacy. They call their un­workshops Prep to Prime or P2P, for short, to emphasize the breadth of their parenting experience. They tackle different aspects and issues of parenting ­­ from managing pregnancies, prepping for the school years of children, dealing with househelp, managing the household budget, to maximizing one’s prime life and staying healthy through the senior years.


About Noemi Lardizabal-Dado

You may contact Noemi (noemidado @ gmail.com) for speaking and consultancy services in the following areas: Parenting in the Digital Age (includes pro-active parenting on cyber-bullying and bullying) ; Social Business ; Reinventing One’s Life; and social media engagement. Our parenting workshop is called "Prep to Prime (P2P): Parenting in the Digital Age (An Un­Workshop)" P2P Un­Workshops are conducted by two golden women in their prime, Noemi and Jane, who have a century’s worth of experience between them. They are both accomplished professionals who chose to become homemakers. This 180­degree turn also put them on a different life course which includes blogging, social media engagement and citizen advocacy. They call their un­workshops Prep to Prime or P2P, for short, to emphasize the breadth of their parenting experience. They tackle different aspects and issues of parenting ­­ from managing pregnancies, prepping for the school years of children, dealing with househelp, managing the household budget, to maximizing one’s prime life and staying healthy through the senior years.

  • http://intimesofpain.blogspot.com delish

    My husband and I have seriously talked about getting a funeral services plan… because people spend an average of P100k just for the funeral services these days… and in times of grief and great distress, we want that to at least be taken care of…

    I haven’t checked tho how much the cremation rates are…

  • http://aboutmyrecovery.com Noemi

    @delish- That’s so true. It’s at least 100 thousand pesos. Maybe cremation is cheaper. I should look into that.

  • http://senorenrique.blogspot.com/ eric

    It is at times like these where grieving families are vulnerable to unscrupulous funeral directors.

    Funeral event planners — not just pre-need funeral plans — are now available in NYC. We should have one here, too, I agree.

  • olga

    I have been wanting to get a memorial plan for my husband and myself for the longest time, plots in the memorial park too. But we have never gotten round to it yet due to financial constraints.

    But I believe we must do it if we do not want to burden our children with such considerations, instead of being able to grieve properly, when our time comes.

    I’d hate to think of my daughter possibly worrying where to find money to buy that coffin or to pay for a plot, or having to go around borrowing money from people, and being left with the burden of paying that, long after i have gone. I would imagine losing a parent is trying enough already! If we can make that time easier for them NOW, then we should go ahead…. but dying has become so expensive nowadays!

  • E

    I am currently researching the law to start a funeral coordinator service. This idea came in mind two weeks ago (June 24) while planning the untimely death of my uncle. The task of speaking with the funeral director , deciding to bury or cremate the body, finding a church and writing the obituary was unbearable for my aunt.
    I got involved and took the lead in making the plans for my uncles funeral. While speaking with the director ideas were flooding my mind on how to take this grief away from my aunt.
    The process was impersonal but professional.
    Not good enough, for my family or any one else.
    I speak with people that know me. I usually avoid funerals at all cost. My family think I’m crazy. But i can’t sleep at night thinking of the service I can provide for families in their time of need.
    I will keep you updated on my progress.
    I believe this is my calling. I have been searching for years. Now I have found it.

    • Rumi

      This is amazing. I have been trying to find something that I can do while I am raising my 2 children and this idea came to me 2 days ago. I have met with interesting responses as I talk to my friends and family and am now researching this idea more. I would love to hear what you have discovered and if we share our ideas, we could be more successful. I am in California, where are you located? Please feel free to let me know how to contact you if you feel comfortable.

      • Chris

        I like to congratulate you on the Funeral Coordinator. I had this idea about several years ago while living in New York. I desgned obituaries for my church, which required me to work with the bereaved family. The family grief made it hard sometimes to make decisions. In addition, I encountered families that the funeral directors had taken advantage of for their financial gain. This ministry is a confirmation from God and I love God’s people and will continue to serve them. May God bless you and keep you encouraged.

        One of God’s Servant

    • don buhain

      I am badly in need of a competent funeral coordinator. Just in case you know anybody.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_JQ2VLYXN325WLXYZESZDTBYZZ4 Winnie

      Hi E! I’m also seriously considering to enter the funeral events planning. I was wondering if you were able to start it? Was hoping if you could give me a few tips? My mom died last year and since i’m an only child, going through the funeral arrangements was pretty tough. While still in shock, my husband and i had to go to an agent just outside the hospital ER where my mom died, and checked out 2 different funeral parlors in the south before deciding where/what type of funeral service should we get. Even during the wake, there were still a lot of things I had to attend to, up to the burial arrangements. In retrospect, I know my mom deserved a lot more than what we have prepared for her burial rites but I just didnt have the energy and the extra warm bodies to help me out. And so now I want to help out others so they can have their moments of grief without having to worry about the funeral & burial arrangements.
      How I wish I could meet Hazel of Angels at Work too!
      God bless!
      Wins

  • Jenne Rabe-Alleva

    Hi there E and Rumi!

    I too, felt a calling for funeral coordination just a few weeks ago.
    I am a professional host/emcee and wedding planner. Our family’s business is catering and after my sister’s baby died at 5days old, we were all convinced that funeral coordination is definitely one of the services that we could offer to our clients. :)

    We participated in the recent exhibit organized by Philippines Star in SM Megatrade Hall entitled Silent Moments Year 3. I had a wonderful experience meeting the different companies that are involved in the Eternal Care Industry. And I was fortunate enough to meet the very first Funeral Coordinator in the Philippines, her name is Hazel and their company’s name is Angels at Work. She calls herself a Tribute Planner. I got a lot of good tips and advices from her.

    I hope to get to talk to you too and help grow a whole new industry that is indeed financially rewarding but ultimately fulfilling :)

    –Jenne Rabe-Alleva
    J&J International Food and Events Management Inc.
    http://www.jackandjenn.multiply.com

    • hazel villamayor pedro

      hi jenne,

      i am really pleased reading your message didn’t really thought i created an impact.. anyway i strongly believe that this industry will grow…. eventually a lot of people will be in this field…. 1 thing that will make you different from the others …. PASSION …..Jenne i’ll see you again.

      HazelVP
      Angels at Work

  • http://profiles.google.com/jackandjenn Jennifer Rabe Alleva

    Hi there E and Rumi,
    A year ago i posted here about my sister’s baby dying at 5 years old and a calling for funeral coordination. From that time on, I have had little experience in funeral coordination.

    But today, I come back to this post and realize that the best teacher is still personal experience.

    My Father, Jose T. Rabe died March 13, 2011 from Liver Cancer. On March 24 Just 11 days after my dad died, my Lola, Anita C. Reyes, died too!!

    I am barely surviving my dad’s death and now my lola who lives with us is gone too!

    It’s truly heartbreaking. But in the midst of all these, I hold on to the truth that God turns anything, even the worst things we perceive in life, into something GOOD. And that good I see right now through this hard time is A FUNERAL COORDINATOR is a strong calling and a great mission.

    There’s so much that people don’t know about handling death, and taking care of a wake and burial. There’s so much that we didn’t know but now I know. And I want to be able to share that.

    If wedding planners get you the best deals from suppliers, funeral coordinators ought to make sure you’re not getting ripped off. Because when you’re down and out, I’m telling you… you’ll end up paying for anything that’s put on your plate.

    What’s sad about the funeral industry though is that people who want to take advantage of your grief and devastation are just about EVERYWHERE. From the hospital all the way to the wake and burial…

    Thank God, my brother, my sister and I worked as a team to make sure we were paying for what is right.. plus additional discounts with my sister’s talent in scrutinizing every nook and cranny in every bill…

    So I pray that every bereaved family gets to find a good funeral coordinator(whether professional or just a family member) who can genuinely help them in the moments of grief.

    We really ought to build a community of people who believe that there is wisdom in preparing for our death.

    ASK JENNE TODAY.
    http://www.jennerabe.multiply.com
    0915-480-1730
    218-7995

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