When a loved one is reaching the end of their life, whether from age or disease, certain logistical conversations need to be had. One of those is the discussion about final wishes. It can be challenging to remain tactful, calm, and agreeable during these discussions, as it's a conversation that no one really wants to have. To help make it go a little smoother, we’ve gathered some ideas that may be useful. Keep reading for tips on how to talk to loved ones about final wishes.
Conversations about death are still considered somewhat taboo, and many of us aren’t really comfortable with them. However, it’s important to talk about final wishes beforehand because it will reduce stress and anxiety when a death occurs. If you already know how to proceed with medical care, funeral arrangements, and will execution, then these things will be less challenging during a time of grief.
When it comes time to have the conversation, you should approach your listener in a way that lessens discomfort for both of you as much as possible. Think about previous difficult conversations you’ve had together and how they have reacted. You might notice that they react better if you are more direct. Other family members may prefer to speak in hypotheticals and might be more comfortable with that type of discussion. You can also write down a few related questions on slips of paper and take turns drawing them from a bowl and answering them. This could even help further discussion about topics you hadn’t thought about before, like where you’d like your ashes spread, or if you want a large or small funeral.
There are a lot of details that go into planning a funeral - and that means a lot of choices. Unsurprisingly, making decisions is not often what people want to do when they are grieving. When talking to loved ones about final wishes, make sure to cover all the funeral details like what type of flower arrangements, what kind of coffin or alternative burial, and whether the funeral will be religious or not.
Many people might not have too many opinions on some of these details, and if they tell you that, it’s one less thing you have to worry about when the time comes. For example, if your grandfather isn’t particular about roses or lilies, you’ll know you can make a decision based on your own preference or budget without worrying about what he would have wanted.
Talking to a loved one about final wishes can be challenging, but by following the above tips, you’ll get through the process as smoothly as possible. When you’re ready to begin planning a funeral service near Boston, give Hamel-Lydon Chapel a call for professional, caring assistance.