Although discussing death is never easy, the conversation is even harder to have when it becomes personal. Choosing an appropriate time and method to discuss your arrangements with relatives and friends can make this discussion even more challenging to have.
We at Circle of Life Cremation and Burial Centre Inc. regularly engage in these types of difficult conversations with clients and their families. Below, we share tips that we have learned from our personal experience on how to make this conversation a bit easier to have.
Choose an Appropriate Setting
This is an emotional topic – so choose a setting that befits the conversation. Think of arranging a quiet, private meeting with people who are closest to you and avoid family celebrations or holidays.
As this type of conversation is most successful when loved ones aren’t caught off guard, let them know in advance the topic you plan on discussing. Some family members may feel uncomfortable at the thought of this conversation. But by stressing how important it is to you to have them present, they will likely put their own discomfort aside.
Writing down all of your wishes as clearly as possible can help you remain focused throughout the discussion. If your plans have already been finalized, have copies of your written wishes available for all attendees.
If your wishes are not fully decided upon at the time of your meeting, ensure they get included in your will as soon as you do decide. Doing so can help ease family members’ future stress levels at an already emotional time.
Stay True to Your Wishes
Yes, you may value your friends’ and family’s opinions – but remember, at the end of the day, this decision is solely yours to make.
The timing for disclosing your wishes to close companions normally comes down to the type of planner that you are. If you are the type of person who likes to independently make your own decisions, then you may choose to reveal your final wishes to family members after they are all made. If you would like your family and friends involved throughout the process, then it is quite useful to let them know that you’re beginning your planning.
Try to find a balance between keeping an open mind while at the same time staying true to yourself. Who knows? Even if you think you have a clear idea about your plans, others may have some considerations that haven’t occurred to you yet.
Find Comfort in Having this Discussion
Having this type of discussion with your closest friends and family members may be the last thing you want to do. Although the thought of having this discussion may seem distressing, most people find comfort after the conversation is over.
Knowing that your family is now aware of your final wishes and that they will be honoured after you die can feel like a huge weight is lifted off your shoulders.
When do you plan on disclosing your final wishes to family and friends? Leave your comments below.