Death comes for us all, and it’s a very bitter pill to swallow.
Unfortunately, when a loved one dies and memorial preparations are not made ahead of time, the remaining family not only grieves the loss but is also forced to bear the emotional and financial burden of preparing for the funeral in the days after the death.
Perhaps you have had this experience while preparing services for a loved one, wondering, “Is this what Mom would have wanted?” or wondering, “How am I going to pay for this?” But, with a little forethought and open communication, you may offer your family peace of mind that they’ll have all they need to carry out your ultimate wishes after you’re gone.
Keep on reading to learn how to talk to your family about your cremation plans and your final plans.
Final Plans Need Planning
Only 24% of individuals have discussed their arrangements with their families, although almost all of us have lost someone.
Many people believe that talking to your family about your ultimate intentions is sad or “simply not the proper moment,” yet doing so relieves them of a great emotional and financial load afterward.
Know Your Last Wishes
These useful questions are an excellent place to begin thinking about your personal arrangement ideas.
Consider discussing your choices with your family and learning their reactions as well. But, you’ll want a solid answer to these questions before starting such a tough conversation.
Do I Wish to Be Cremated, Buried, or Otherwise?
One of the first choices you must make is what to do with your body. At first, you may believe this is too morbid to think about or discuss. However, according to studies, the majority of individuals know what they want to happen to their bodies when they die.
Cremation, conventional burial, green burial, giving your corpse to science, and more alternatives are available. As a critical first step, we recommend that you explore your alternatives and share this information with your family.
When you don’t express your preferences in advance, your family and friends are left wondering and worried about making the best option for you. You might even have family members who are very clear and forthright about their desires, which makes the discussion about our ultimate wishes easier to handle.
Allow Your Relatives to Quiz You About Cremation
After you’ve explained to your family why you choose cremation than burial, give them the floor and encourage them to ask you any questions they may have.
After all, with 57.5% of Americans choosing cremation in 2021, it’s becoming a cultural norm.
They’ll have a few questions for you, particularly if they’re not sure why you wish to be cremated. Take in every question that they throw at you and answer them to the best of your abilities. It will make them feel more at ease with your choice.
As time goes on, continue to update your family on your cremation intentions.
As you go through life, your cremation arrangements may evolve somewhat. If and when they do, you should notify your relatives. You should also keep the lines of communication open and discuss cremation with them if they like.
If you’re looking for more information on cremation, you can always rely on our blog to keep you informed.
Do I Want People to Say Farewell “Traditionally” or in a Unique Way?
Many people are incorporating their favorite elements of their life into really unique last goodbyes, rather than having a typical viewing and burial ceremony.
When it comes to services, the sky is the limit nowadays, and arranging events at locations like a favorite restaurant or a specific beach is becoming increasingly prevalent. If you want to start small, consider your favorite get-togethers: are they more traditional or unconventional?
If they’re conventional, you may choose a funeral ceremony and viewing for your family. If you like to do things a bit differently, you may choose to have a memorial ceremony, a celebration of life, or a gathering at a location meaningful to you or your family.
Do I Want a Large Crowd to Say Farewell or a Small Group of Close Friends and Family?
By organizing the scale of your memorial services, you’ll provide your family and friends with a more realistic image of how you’d want to be remembered.
Consider your favorite memories and individuals; do those memories and people encourage you to prefer a big or small gathering? Consider how these organizations may wish to attend if you are a member of a church or a major association of some type.
What Are My Most Crucial Last Wishes for My Family to Know?
If you have particular requests that are extremely important to you or your family, articulating them in advance can assist your family in carrying them out when the time comes.
Perhaps you want your family to listen to specific music or to have your favorite flowers. What are your favorite songs that you’d want to have included? Music is incredibly comforting and connects us to good memories, and it may be a terrific way to bring solace to your family long after the memorial service has over.
Do you have any causes or groups that you are particularly interested in? Today, many families prefer money in place of flowers; if you have a favorite charity or cause, let your loved ones know so they may share it with others who can give in your honor.
Which Funeral Home Do I Want My Family to Choose Once I Die?
You may or may not have a strong preference for the funeral home with whom your family would want to work.
It’s a good idea to leave your family with a notion of the kind of home you’d want them to work with – one that focuses on providing excellent care and support.
When Is It Appropriate to Discuss My Final Plans?
It is never too early to notify your family about your last desires.
Take advantage of the chance when it presents itself. Perhaps it comes up in a significant manner, such as following the death of a family member or while changing your will. It is more likely to appear in a tiny, daily context, such as a movie or an article you read.
Use these opportunities to convey your ultimate intentions plainly, such as “I’ve been thinking about what I would like, and I believe I would want to be cremated, have a little memorial ceremony in town, and have my ashes spread near the lake.”
You can also show them tha you can start cremation arrangements online with minimal fuss.
Dicussing Your Cremation Plans With Family
Be ready for strong emotions. While you may have spent time planning and preparing for your own death, your family and loved ones most certainly have not.
People you care about will need time to absorb all of the emotions related with your likely, eventual, or imminent death and loss. They may get furious with you, deny the importance of the chat, or just be sad at the prospect of losing you. If the talk becomes too intense, take a break and resume it after everyone has cooled down.
Maintain Your Strength
While it is vital to listen to what your family has to say about your last desires, it is ultimately your choice.
Don’t be scared to be forceful about what you want and to advocate for crucial choices. Once you’ve reached an agreement that everyone can agree on, it’s a good idea to have a legal contract made up with all the information so there are no problems when you’re gone.
Listen and Respond
While your last wishes are entirely your choice and all about what you want, your loved ones will want to have some say in the matter.
Prepare to listen to their concerns and respond to any inquiries they may have. If you don’t have a response immediately away, take the time you need to think about it.
Know What You Want
Don’t attempt to discuss your post-death desires with your family unless you know what they are.
Take some time before bringing up the matter to research, consider, and determine exactly what you want. Our first section should have helped with that. You’ll be better prepared to explain your concrete desires to your family after you know the answers to those inquiries.
Desired Burial and Sundry: Planning in Advance
As important as this talk is, it may also be quite challenging and filled with grief. Loved ones don’t want to think about losing you, much alone discussing the specifics of your cremation.
Yet, talking about it in advance will help tremendously when the actual day arrives. It’ll ease the burden of trying to figure out plans and financials when they’re already dealing with grief and loss.
In addition, there’s no reason for you to go through the entire process alone. If you’re in Dallas, you can always contact us for information and we can help you plan in advance and ease your fears.