How Do We Navigate The Family Dynamic?
Death can bring the best or the worst out in people. I think the situation everyone hopes for is that the family bands together and helps each other with their grief. Most of the time, that’s how it happens. Sometimes though there is a rift in the family that seems impossible to push aside when it’s time to plan a funeral.
Families are complex. Basically, it’s just a bunch of people who didn’t pick to be related to each other, with different personalities and quirks who are expected to get along. It’s not always possible for everyone to get along, no matter how hard we try.
At a time when emotions are already running high, being in a situation where there is already conflict between family members can make a hard time even harder. Trying to be as respectful as possible to everyone and ensuring that the deceased wishes are honoured are probably a good place to start. Sometimes there are disputes about what the deceased’s wishes are, and when everyone isn’t getting along its just another avenue for drama.
What can be done about preventing the ugly disputes?
Pre-Plan your funeral! If you have children or siblings that don’t get along, the last thing I think anyone would want is knowing that family was fighting over their death. Take all the stress and hassle out of the equation and pre-plan your funeral then there is nothing to fight about from that perspective. Your wishes are clearly laid out and defined and it will be very hard to dispute.
From the view of a Funeral Director, family disputes are something that we try to stay out of. Due to the privacy laws, the applicant (the person arranging the funeral), is the only person we can speak to regarding any of the funeral arrangements. The only time when we can speak to another party is when we have a signed written statement from the applicant allowing us to disclose information to a specific person, and even then, the information that we can disclose is documented. I completely understand that it can be frustrating for a family member who would like information regarding a funeral and we just can’t give them the information that they want. We will always refer them back to the applicant.
In my opinion, the best way to not let things get heated is just to take a step back, take a deep breath and remember this isn’t about you or the person/people that you don’t get along with, its about your loved one who has passed away. Its not the time to fight or bicker, it’s a time to remember all of the wonderful memories that you had with the person who has passed on. If you are planning the funeral with the person/people that you don’t get along with its probably a good idea to have an impartial third party from the family who is present as well. Just to try and keep everyone on the right track.
If you have questions about funerals or planning your funeral, why not get in touch with us on 1300 043 522 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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