Nearly 5 years ago, my husband’s precious maternal grandmother passed away. This special woman had an amazing sense of humor and a flair for life. Without saying a word, she could make me laugh with just a look. Several years before her death, she visited a local funeral home in order to plan her funeral services. When she passed away, the family didn’t have to deal with the stress of organizing her farewell services. They could relax, grieve, and concentrate on the wonderful memories they shared with her. I've grown to appreciate this. On this blog, you will discover the steps required to plan your own funeral.
Talking to your parents or grandparents about what they would like their funeral to be like is a hard conversation. But it's also a necessary conversation, both for the one who passes away and the ones who will be trying to show loving respect as they say goodbye.
So, how should you about having this challenging conversation? Here are a few tips.
Talk About Memories. A funeral is really about creating and reflecting on the memories of a person that was loved. So a good way to open the conversation and to get their input is to discuss and share memories. This is a sneaky way to learn more about their favorite and least favorite things, people, and places. It's also an icebreaker to discussing how they would like to be remembered.
Share Your Own Plans. Another great icebreaker is to let your parent know what plans you've made for your own passing. It could be simple, such as having paid for a standard burial and made a few pre-arrangements like what flowers or guests you want, or it could be more elaborate. This helps the older one to see that this subject is not taboo and that it's not just because you think they're going to pass away soon.
Take Time. If talking about their own demise is an uncomfortable subject, don't force it to be done in one session. Let them think about things for a while, and they may come up with a few of their own ideas once the initial shock has subsided. Consider making an agreement to discuss one aspect again — such as burial vs. cremation or what kinds of flowers they would like — in a week or so after the initial discussing. This helps keep things flowing, but it keeps the subject less stressful.
Discuss How it Helps. Parents and grandparents often want what's best for their children. So, frame the conversation about how much of a help it will be to you and their other loved ones if they have made some decisions ahead of time. Explain that you will miss them and it would be doubly hard to have to decide whether they want burial or cremation or what kind of service they'd like. Show how it may help grandchildren to process their loss if they know that the arrangements were what Grandma wanted.
No matter how you approach the subject of funeral pre-arrangements with your loved one, you can make it a positive and successful conversation. Start with these few tips and let it flow organically from there. For more help determining options and choices you can make ahead of time, talk to a funeral home such as Brinsfield-Echols Funeral Home for more details.