Preplanning With Dignity Memorial

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At 2:00 am, the young teenager heard a disturbance down the hallway. Awakening from sleep, she heard her father making noises and her mother screaming. She crept down the hallway to see what was happening. She saw her father on the living room floor having a seizure. The neurologist, who lived across the street, had seen the lights on in the family home and came over knowing something must be wrong. He assured the mother that an ambulance was on the way. The mother yelled at the daughter to go back to her bedroom and remain there. The young teen went into her younger sister’s room to keep her calm still not understanding what was happening. After some time, the mother came to see her daughters and told them that their father was heading to the hospital, and everything would be okay. After a visit with the neurologist that week, it was discovered that the father had a brain tumor. In the two months that followed no additional symptoms showed and the children felt that things had gone back to normal. After two months, a surgery was completed that left their father in a coma. After three days, he passed away. On Valentine’s Day, this family buried their husband and father of 43 years of age. The widow was 36 and the children were 13 and 12. With no plan in place before this tragedy, this family was devastated both emotionally and financially. It was a traumatic time and the heartache continued for many years.

I am Anne Harduk and that was my story as a 13-year-old. As an adult, when I found Dignity Memorial and understood that I could protect families so that no one ever had to experience what my family did, I knew I had found a calling, and I would help families for the rest of my career. I understood firsthand that none of us is guaranteed 100 years on this earth. Everyone should take some time to preplan for future funeral and cemetery needs.

Some might think this is dark or even morbid. I understand. Thinking about death and dying is uncomfortable, especially thinking about our own death. But planning is more about taking care of the people we love. In fact, that is the number one reason why people plan ahead-to make sure that their families never have to go through life’s worst day the wrong way.


Planning can be done in four simple steps. First, we REFLECT-what is important to you; how did you Live, Laugh and Love; Second, we RECORD-our Preplanning Guide is a 23-page book and an excellent tool to answer a tidal wave of questions that your family will have on that day. We provide this free of charge to every family that we meet with. Third, SUPPORT-convenient payment plans are available to fit into every family’s budget. You can beat inflation and lock in today’s pricing for something you need in the future. Fourth, SHARE-tell your family what you have done. This is a gift that one day will show them that you have planned because you love them.

Our advisors are experts at customizing options based on your needs. They do so in a non-threatening meeting or two at our offices or your home. I recommend touring one of our funeral homes and/or cemeteries to determine how we can best meet your unique needs. Ask for your free Planning Guidebook. We’ll make sure to answer all your questions. With offices in Palm Coast, Ormond Beach and Port Orange, we’re located near where you live. Families tell us that once decisions have been made, they feel good and even have fun meeting with us. So, reach out-we’re here to help!

Thank you, Anne Harduk, for sharing your story. Anne Harduk is the Area Sales Manager for Dignity Memorial and has been serving families since 2009. You can reach her directly at; or call one of our offices to ask for her. Palm Coast – 386-854-3565; Ormond Beach – 386-703-3673; Port Orange – 386-854-3799.