More people are preplanning their funerals to eliminate guesswork for loved ones

A generation ago, funerals were a somewhat formulaic and formal affair. There was a solemn service, perhaps a Mass, a procession of cars to the cemetery, a burial.

Not today.

Today, a final goodbye is often extremely personal — and often extremely difficult for survivors to plan. Favorite songs of the deceased, detailed instructions in a will, special requests made by the family, even tombstones that mention a favored avocation have transformed a traditional funeral service into a celebration of life.

“As people go through the experience of planning a funeral for their loved ones, they realize how stressful it is to make these decisions for someone else,’’ says Kelly Carey, who oversees operations at Codey & Mackey Funeral Home in Boonton, as well as Codey Funeral Home in Caldwell.

“A lot of people don't want to deal with [death] in life. They can’t face the fact that it’s going to happen, so they avoid talking about it,” she says. “Then the families are left not knowing what they would have wanted. You're already dealing with the death of a loved one, and now you have to plan a funeral with no idea how they wanted to be honored. And you're not thinking clearly. It's very emotional.’’

The result, Carey says, is that more people are planning their own goodbyes, even preparing their own funeral planning checklist.

“A lot of people, especially spouses and [parents], say ‘I don't want my children to go through this,’” Carey says. “‘I want to come back when things calm down, and make my own arrangements.’’’

The compassionate and experienced staff at Codey funeral homes have a comforting and comfortable process for preplanning a funeral­­­­­, free of charge. A representative meets with the person or speaks with them on the phone to discuss what the person envisions when it’s their time. People also can preplan for the death of loved ones, so they are not making decisions at an already emotional time. Funeral plans are stored free of charge and can be altered or discarded at any time, with no obligation to use either funeral home when the day comes.

Both Codey funeral homes also offer funeral prepayment plans. “Then loved ones aren't worrying about that either,’’ Carey says.

No matter what services are provided, the underlying philosophy of Codey-owned funeral homes is simple: Comfort at a time of great need.

“It’s our No. 1 priority,’’ Carey says. “We want the families to be able to focus on what really matters.’’

That comes naturally to owner Richard Codey. Involved in the funeral business literally all of his life, Codey is well-suited to service these and the other changes that have transformed the business that’s been in his family for generations. As the former Governor of New Jersey and the longtime State Senate President, “The Gov” has piloted and negotiated his state through decades of change — a process that continues.

He has done the same with both funeral homes.

The team at Codey & Mackey Funeral Home is happy to speak with you any time, day or night, to discuss preplanning options with you. Just call (973) 334-5252.