Expert Contribution

You Plan For All of Life’s Big Events —

Why Not Plan for the End of Life Too?

Death is a topic many of us avoid discussing — but it’s an inevitable part of life. 

Many Americans don’t spend a lot of time thinking about how they’d like to be remembered, but when asked, they usually have preferences. 

In fact, families we serve are sometimes surprised by their strong opinions regarding funerals, cremation, burial, and more. 

For example, when you think about your funeral, would you like it to be a somber gathering, or do you envision more of a party celebrating your life? Are there certain songs you’d like to be played? Or religious passages or poems you’d like read? Preplanning gives you the ability to make decisions about every detail and gives you confidence knowing these special touches will be included. 

Few families realize that there are over 100 decisions to make after a loved one dies. It’s fair to say that many of your family members would have difficulty answering all of these questions on your behalf after you’re gone. 

Addressing this ahead of time puts you in control and takes away the guesswork from your family, saving them stress, reducing the likelihood of arguments, and giving them overall peace of mind. 

What many people do not understand about preplanning is that these consultations are free. It does not cost anything to meet with a professional to share your preferences. 

As with so many other aspects of life, taking a little time to plan now will pay off later. Whatever your preferences, it’s important to get them in writing so you have a record for the future. 

At Cypress Lawn, we’ve found people have different preferences on how they’d like to make these plans. Some prefer a self-directed experience filling out our online form, while others appreciate assistance from our certified planning specialists over the phone or even by scheduling a video chat. 

In all of our years helping Bay Area families preplan, one thing has remained the same: No one ever regrets putting their arrangements in place. With everything we’ve experienced this last year, that has never been more true than now.


By Robert A. Gordon Jr., President & CEO of Cypress Lawn Funeral Home & Memorial Park, Resident since 2017 


About The Author

End of Life
Bob Gordon
Cypress Lawn Funeral Home & Memorial Park
(650) 550-8808

Robert Gordon Jr. began his career at his grandfather’s cemetery and funeral home as a teenager — he worked in every position, eventually rising to the level of Vice President. He went on to hold director positions at both the El Camino Group and Service Corporation International. Bob is now the President and CEO of the Cypress Lawn Cemetery Association. He is a licensed funeral director and cemetery broker. 

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