When my dear grandmother passed away, one of her wishes was for her grandchildren, including the girls, to be pallbearers. What an honor that was! I realized that I played a huge part in honoring the life she once lived. When there is no ceremony our loved ones do not get to experience that crucial element of ceremony – which can be a significant part of the healing process. When I meet with families to pre-plan, I always ask if there is a preference as to who the pallbearers should be. Although this question can be answered when a death occurs, having your wishes in place and met when they are needed can be a wonderful thing for those who participate. There are three important things to know when choosing pallbearers: 1) knowing when pallbearers are appropriate, 2) knowing who can be a pallbearer, and 3) knowing what an honorary pallbearer is. Pallbearers are necessary when casketed remains are transported from the place of the funeral to the cemetery. Usually, close friends or family members serve as pallbearers; although, I have seen colleagues, veteran personnel, and emergency professionals (police, fire, etc.) participate. Traditionally there are 6 to 8 pallbearers who carry the casket. If someone is too emotionally upset to carry the casket or is not physically capable, there is a way for them to still be involved by serving as an honorary pallbearer. An honorary pallbearer can walk along the side, behind, or in front of the casket. So if you ever wondered if women, someone with a disability, or young children are able to participate as a pallbearer, the answer is yes! If you want to be the one to decide who takes an active part in how you will be remembered, call me soon and I will help you get your plans in place.