• Why It’s Important to Pre-plan a Funeral

    There’s never a “convenient” time to plan a funeral. There’s a good chance you’ll be unprepared for the loss of your loved one, that his or her death will catch you by surprise. But determining last wishes or making funeral preparations becomes even harder after the person passes.

    Andrew Goodwin
    Andrew Goodwin, a second-year student in the college's
    FSE program, identifies parts of a casket during a recent lab.

    If you haven’t spoken with your loved one about his or her wishes for a funeral, you’re not alone. According to a survey by the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA), 62.5 percent of U.S. consumers think it’s important for people to communicate their funeral plans and wishes to family members prior to their deaths. However, only about 21.4 percent of people have done so. Respondents cited several reasons for not discussing this, including that it’s not a priority or that prepaying for a funeral is costly.

    “There are a number of reasons you should plan a funeral in advance,” said Andrew Goodwin, a second-year student in the Funeral Service Education (FSE) program at Mt. Hood Community College. “There’s important peace of mind that comes with knowing the details of your loved one’s wishes for after they pass.”

    There’s also some assurance, added Goodwin, from family members knowing that they made informed, thoughtful decisions about the deceased love one’s choice of service, preparation costs, and funeral home of choice.

    Knowing your options, however, often first requires sitting down with a funeral service professional. On Tuesday, March 5, you can do exactly that. The FSE program at MHCC will host its annual Mock Funeral Arrangements. The event provides the chance for community members to preview funeral arrangement services and products in a comfortable, supportive and educational environment.

    “We want you to ask questions, to have those difficult conversations,” said Goodwin. “Because when we have this information, we can make it easier for you, for your loved ones.”

    FSE students can review options for deceased transportation, services, cemetery arrangements, funeral and memorial products, cremation memorial services, and green funerals and burials. Participants can also learn what goes into planning a funeral or service.

    “It’s all about education during these mock arrangements,” Goodwin added. “You’ll come away having learned more about the industry and you’ll have helped us prepare for practical work as funeral directors ourselves.”

    Mock Funeral Arrangements at MHCC will take place March 5, 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. in the Town and Gown (Room 2057) on the Gresham campus. To schedule an appointment, email mhccmockarrangements19@gmail.com or call or text Monica at 360-980-0216. Walk-ins welcome. Refreshments provided.

    MHCC students
    MHCC students during a recent Funeral Service Education lab.