Finding Comfort in Discourse on Death Preparation
Written by: Pocholo Hermoso
According to the Philippine Statistics Authority, reported deaths in 2019 reached 620,414, a 5.0 percent increase from the 590,709 registered deaths in 2018. These are equivalent to a crude death rate of 5.8, or about six deaths per thousand population in 2019. More or less, one to two Filipinos dies every minute.
All in all, thousands among thousands die every day. This is life’s certainty, that it will end at some point. The first step to this is accepting this reality, and providing more discourse about this topic. Next is to prepare for it and preparing for it. The best way to prepare for it is by investing in death care.
Death: A Sensitive Topic
Deathcare is the one of the investments people aren’t willing to make because it makes them uncomfortable. If people were more willing to talk about death preparation, they would be intrigued by the benefits of investing in memorial lots.
However, particularly locally, negative culturally-inscribed connotations have always been associated with death. Hence, we are encouraged not to talk about it.
The Philippines is — and always has been — a predominantly Catholic nation. Much of our tradition is molded by deeply ingrained beliefs in the Catholic Church. For instance, we are made to believe by our elders, like faith formators and our older relatives, that death is something to be scared of, particularly the fear of the probability of ending up in hell. Therefore, death, the afterlife, and its discourse has been ward off altogether.
In an attempt to explain people’s discomfort in regards to this topic, maybe the thought of a loved one or even ourselves leaving this Earth frightens us, and understandably so. Among all of the universe’s mysteries is death. It is something no one on Earth can fathom nor explain.
However, the more we reject discourse, the more we deny a deceased person a peaceful passing. Also, we deny the their loved ones an opportunity to prepare mentally for this tragedy.
For instance, zero or lack of preparation will lead to an additional burden to the grieving when the time comes. It is not only a hassle but very emotionally disturbing to be making these arrangements while mourning. For this reason, peace becomes a luxury for the mourning when this is all they have to do since they made the necessary preparations early.
Cost of Preparing for Death
Making the appropriate preparations for one’s passing is a touchy but necessary arrangement that every one of us must be accustomed to doing. These specific arrangements come in the form of an array of different products and services offered by the Death Industry.
Here in Golden Haven, people can invest in different death care investment options and services.
First are lawn lots. They are located in the garden area of the memorial and are for underground burials only. They can range from P40,000-P330,000.
Second are garden lots. Similar to lawn lots, they are in the garden area but the remains are raised instead of being underground. The maximum amount one can spend on this is P2,800,000.
Third are Mausoleums, which are defined as large, stately buildings housing one or more tombs. More or less, they range from about 600k to prices as high as P 20,000,000, depending on the structure and how prime the location is.
Last is Columbarium. In the Philippines it ranges from 40,000 to 250,000 depending on the location of the project. It is a structure for the respectful and usually public storage of funerary urns, holding cremated remains of the deceased.
Golden Haven also offers memorial, funeral, cremation services, and chapel services like Restoration and Make-up, Hearse Rental, Flower Arrangements, Storage Rental, and Engraving of keepsakes, to name a few.
The Optimistic Perspective of Preparing for Death
Mentioning the different products, services, investments, and their respective options in the Death Industry is an example of discourse. If we continue to talk about death and prepare for it, it inherently becomes a habit to talk about these kinds of topics. Preparing for death then becomes a normal but imperative thing to discuss.
In addition to this, having these conversations, especially early, helps us prepare for the inevitable. The pain involved in losing a loved one can be explained by not being truly prepared for it. Therefore, acknowledging death and subsequently preparing for it makes the grieving process easy.
Last but not least, getting ourselves accustom to these topics will not only benefit us from a business perspective, but also on a personal one . In making these final arrangements in the twilight years of one’s life, they serve as a final tribute to them, by truly commemorating and celebrating one’s life through a well thought out send off. That said, preparing for death is not taboo anymore.
Click here to check more about Golden Haven Memorial Parks and Chapel’s products and services.
Golden Haven Memorial Park is a subsidiary company of publicly list Villar-owned Golden MV Holdings Inc., one of the largest real estate companies in the country. Golden Haven offers premium death care services, and its prime memorial lots are dubbed as the most lucrative real estate investment with an average of 20% annual value appreciation.
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About the author:
Pocholo “Cholo” Hermoso is an intern at Golden MV Holdings, and is currently in his 2nd year, finishing AB Communications at the Ateneo de Manila University.