John was sitting in his favorite chair on a Sunday morning, waiting for his weekly phone call from his mother and father, ten states away. For years, these conversations were the highlight of his week and when away on business or vacation or otherwise unable to have these chats, he missed them dearly. His family had always been a close one but his respect for and love of his own parents had deepened since he and his wife became the proud parents of twin daughters, now seven years old.
The phone rang and John answered with his typical humor. After a brief chat with both parents separately, John heard a click on the line while talking to his father.
"Your mother just got on the line," his father said when John asked about the sound. "This isn't a subject anyone likes bringing up, but your mother and I want to ensure that everything is in place for our funerals."
John shuddered at the thought of losing his parents and he was nearly brought to tears as he envisioned their services and committing them to the earth. He tried to laugh off the subject but his mother was firm.
"John, we've already spoken with the funeral director at the funeral home here. All the arrangements are made. Your father and I have no plans on going anywhere soon but we don't want to leave you with a burden. We'd also like our desires to be known. We've picked out our caskets, our cemetery plots and stated the kind of services we'd each like. For instance, I want a room full of flowers and your father would like his service to be held in a park."
"Really," John asked, starting to see their point.
"We're not going to make our passing any harder on you than it will be," his father chimed in. "Having planned all these things already and put money into a care for the living trust, we are allowing you the space to move through the grief process without stress."
John smiled as he looked at his own beautiful wife and their lively children.
"I didn't want to talk about this because it scared me. But, now, I totally see why you're doing this. Thank you. I do feel better."
"We do too," his mother said. "We love you."
"I love you guys, too," John said. Already, he was less afraid about something he never wanted to think about. He felt better knowing he could relax and enjoy their living time more.