Plan ahead with a Celebration of Life from Borthwick Mortuary

The importance of talking to loved ones about their final arrangements

Sponsored by Borthwick Mortuary

Many people aren’t comfortable discussing their final arrangements, but it’s important for families to understand what’s involved when a loved one passes way. HI Now host Kainoa Carlson spoke with the folks at Borthwick Mortuary to get some insight into what families can do to prepare.

“It’s a conversation everyone needs to have,” says ┬áMel Kalahiki with Borthwick Mortuary. “All of us from time to time, even in casual conversations with friends, have said something to the effect of: ‘What do mom and dad want when they die, what do you want?’ At times, even a husband and wife may not even know what each other one wanted.”

Borthwick Mortuary encourages families to talk about final arrangements. It’s also important to make sure you inform your family of where all your legal documents are. This includes military discharge papers (DD214), medical records, social security card, banking account information, insurance policies and any written instructions you have left behind to be followed.

“These are just a few things that families tend to forget about until it’s too late. You need to get organized and be prepared,” says Kalahiki. “You never know what may occur tomorrow. Make your wishes known!”

Funeral services have evolved and continue to evolve today. Borthwick Mortuary likes to a funeral service as “A Celebration of Life,” since it’s a time shared by family and friends should bring comfort. Using videos, photographs, music, special readings, mementos and the involvement of family and friends allow those in attendance to share wonderful stories of the times they had together.

A celebration of life can be personalized in any way you could possibly think of! Borthwick Mortuary can customize it in ways that truly honor loved ones, incorporating all the cherished details about that loved one’s life.

“We serve families who want very traditional services and other families who want to memorialize their loved one in a unique and expressive way, incorporating hobbies, collections, interests and even occupations into a service,” Merci Soriano with Borthwick Mortuary.

Planning a celebration of life in advance can take care of the details, but only prearranging (or prepaying for services) can take care of the actual expense of the traditional service ahead of time, easing the future financial burden on surviving loved ones. If you pre-plan through Borthwick Mortuary, the funeral home is affiliated with the Dignity Memorial Network. That means if you were to move to the neighbor islands or to the mainland, your plan can be used at any Dignity affiliated funeral home or cemetery.

To order a free planning guide, contact Borthwick Mortuary at 522-5200 or visit

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