Talking about death is tough; it can make people feel uncomfortable or upset. As uncomfortable as it feels, talking about death and your funeral wishes is incredibly important. Unfortunately, it is also quite rare. Less than 1% of people surveyed by SunLife knew the funeral wishes of their deceased loved one. It is understandable that people do not want to fully acknowledge that their loved ones won’t be with them forever.
We have created a simple guide to help you have a constructive conversation with your loved ones about your funeral wishes.
Decide who you need to speak with.
Think carefully about who you need to speak to about your funeral wishes. It is best for you to speak to those who are most likely to be organising and/or paying for your funeral when the time comes.
Set time aside to have the conversation.
Once you’ve decided who you want to speak with about your funeral wishes, organise a set time to meet with them. Try to meet them somewhere where you are both comfortable and aren’t likely to be disturbed. If you think it’s best, tell them the reason why you want to meet. This way, the topic of conversation will not take them by surprise.
How should you instigate the conversation?
Because the topic of death and funerals is taboo, you may find it challenging to instigate the conversation, and your loved ones may find it hard to hear. However, there are a few things you can do to encourage a meaningful discussion about the matter.
Be open and honest.
Sometimes being completely honest is the best policy. You may have to say things that upset your loved ones, but they have to be said if your wishes are to be respected.
Try to stay calm.
The idea of talking to your loved ones about your death is upsetting for all involved, and, naturally, you will feel nervous or uneasy. If you feel yourself getting anxious or upset, take a few deep breaths and give yourself time to think about what you want to say.
Speak about funeral payments.
Some people may feel uncomfortable talking about money in too much depth, but it is essential if you are to convey your funeral wishes to loved ones accurately. If you have a funeral plan, savings or a form of financial protection (such as life insurance) that can pay for your funeral, let your family know.
The funeral service.
If you have specific funeral wishes, make sure your loved ones are aware of them. For example, do you want a burial, cremation, or direct cremation? Would you like the service to be secular or religious? Who would you like to give the eulogy? Do you have a preferred funeral director? Would you like an open or closed casket funeral? Are there any other personal touches you’d like to be included, such as a specific type of flowers?
Funerals on a Budget specialises in affordable, quality and professional cremation funerals, without compromising on the care of your loved one. To request more information, please fill in our contact form.