Taking the time to talk about final wishes with a loved one is an unwanted but often necessary conversation. Some people might feel uncomfortable with the topic for a variety of reasons, but it is an important discussion to have, so that their final wishes can be carried out and you can make arrangements for the future if need be. Here are some tips for having the big conversation:
Start off by talking about yourself
Initiating the initial conversation can be difficult for many people. If you feel uncomfortable bringing up the topic outright, try to start by talking about your own wishes. You could say “when I pass away, I would love my funeral to be like a big party. What about you?” or “I’ve been thinking about writing my will, maybe we could go to the lawyers together to sort yours out at the same time?”. These are subtle reminders that we all need to think about death, and it doesn’t have to be an isolating or scary topic.
Don’t shy away from the conversation
In other situations, you might be the one who is hesitant to talk about death. Whether consciously or unconsciously, there may have been times where a loved one is ready to talk about their final wishes, and you haven’t engaged in the conversation. We understand that talking about something can make it feel more real, but listening to their final wishes is a kindness, and you can help that person by making sure that their requests are granted.
Follow their lead
When a person is ready to talk, they might broach the subject with you in subtle ways. For example, if they are ill, they might talk about not being around for the next family event, mention how tired they are of being sick, or refusing to make future plans. When you hear comments like this, ask questions and see if you can have a conversation. Ask if there are any family traditions they would like you to carry on, or ask them if there’s anything they would like help with organising or preparing.
These are difficult conversations to have, but they make the funeral process much easier, and alleviate the stress of guessing what your loved one may have wanted. If you want to talk to one of our caring team members about funeral pre-planning or pre-paying, please get in touch with us. We are dedicated to guiding families through these tough times.