PO Box 1216, Crestone, CO 81131 informedfinalchoices@gmail.com

About IFC – Our Vision & Mission

Photo by Ted Tevye

IFC VISION

Informed Final Choices (IFC) is a non-denominational not-for-profit service organization standing at the center of end-of-life issues. IFC dedicates itself to a world in which end-of-life choices are well-understood and supported; end-of-life rights are universally respected; end-of-life wishes are fulfilled by family and community taking responsibility in caring for their deceased loved ones, and death is embraced as a part of life.

IFC MISSION

Informed Final Choices (IFC) exists to inspire and educate, consult with and offer guidance to individuals, communities and professionals interested in end-of-life issues and practices. Extending its years of practical experience and respecting all faith traditions, IFC provides information, materials and workshops on end-of-life choices; Home Funeral procedures; Advance Directives and Patient/Family Rights.

IMPORTANCE OF PERSONALIZED RITUAL

One function of our organization is to assist the families and friends of the deceased in planning meaningful, personalized rituals to mark the death of their loved one, and to assist, if necessary, in bringing those rituals to fruition.

Ritual can be a profoundly meaningful act for the bereaved, whether while caring for the body or enacting a burial or cremation. Our experience is that conceiving and performing personalized ritual often serves as a deeply nourishing activity for those experiencing the grief of loss.

In addition, the process of discussing the wishes of a terminally ill loved one for the care and disposition of their body – and the celebration of their life – can be healing for all involved.

DEATH AS SACRED CELEBRATION

Homes in America used to have a parlor where a loved one would lie in state so that neighbors could visit and pay their respects. What if we knew the end-of-life choices of our loved ones, so when one of our own passes, everybody knows just what to do? What if death no longer was seen as a burden put onto the shoulders of others, but was honored at home, the community involved?

Imagine dying treated in a sacred way, in a room in the home made beautiful. Imagine family and friends visiting, sitting by their dear one in silence or conversation and prayer. Imagine the community gathering at the local cemetery for whatever service the deceased had chosen – the community offering prayers, poems, songs in a circle of love, wishing solely to honor such a passage to the next mansion of life.

Or, imagine the community gathering to see the body of the beloved, wrapped in a chosen shroud, as it is placed on a pyre and covered with boughs, and with candles and items from the life of the deceased with sweets and wishes spoken or silent, a family member lighting the pyre as flames reach skyward to return the covering of the spirit to the realm of spirit, as all things return to their essence, just as rain nourishes the earth and then rises in evaporation.

If you were that someone, how would you wish your passing to touch those whom in your physical life you cared for so deeply?