Final Choices

Throughout the whole of life, one must continue to learn how to live and,
what will amaze you even more, throughout life one must learn how to die.
—Seneca

Friends seek to support one another in death as in any other aspect of life. Recognizing that the death of a loved one is a traumatic and often a bewildering experience for close survivors and sometimes a confusing task for a personal representative, it is strongly recommended that you plan your final arrangements well in advance. You will gain satisfaction in knowing that your wishes will be carried out and that those who are ultimately responsible will be enormously grateful for your thoughtfulness in providing them with the information needed at that difficult time.

By recording the information called for in the attached forms,you can help to lighten the responsibilities that will fall upon families, partners, friends, and the Meeting when you die. Aside from your Will, they will need to know your other instructions and wishes, what documents and files exist and where to find them, as well as something about your life and interests for use in a memorial minute/public notices. This consideration is not limited to those in a particular age group. Death does not always wait until we are old.

If you have questions or doubts about the matters covered by these forms, members of the Ministry and Counsel Committee are available to discuss them with you. You are encouraged to provide a set of completed forms to family members or other individuals you think appropriate. You may not wish to share this information with them now, but at least tell them about it and where it is kept. Choose a convenient, easily accessible place. If you choose to provide a set of forms to Ministry and Counsel, they will be considered confidential and will be filed in a locked box in the meetinghouse.

Friends’ memorial and burial services are carried out with due regard for our traditional testimony of simplicity. However, there is considerable room for individual choice and it is desirable that your specific wishes be clearly recorded.
One more thing: Families love to know about their forebears, but seldom ask; later, they wish they had. Don’t you? So, after all the urgent part is done, including the memorial information, begin to write or just jot down notes about your childhood, your parents, grandparents, stories of your family, events in your life, amusing and sad incidents... It could be fun to relive them as you share them. Use a notebook or slip them into a folder or envelope entitled “Memoirs” and add to them frequently.


Acknowledgements: Midcoast Meeting wishes to thank the following for providing information used in developing these forms: Joann Austin, Attorney, South China, Maine, Chapel Hill (North Carolina) Monthly Meeting, and Willard Pease, Attorney, Rockland, Maine.
Approved: 1999.

Final Choices forms (download pdf file)