How Do I Start Conversations About The End Of My Life?

I’ve spoken to many people who have asked about preplanning their funeral. More often than not the reason they give for preplanning is so “my children don’t have to deal with it”. I think preplanning your funeral is really the last gift that you can give your loved ones. When the time comes for you to pass away, rather than your loved ones having to seek out a Funeral Director and put everything together for your final send off they can just grieve. What a load off their minds knowing everything has been taken care of and will be done exactly how you wanted.

How do I start having the conversations about the end of my life? That’s a tough one for me to answer because it is a personal conversation, and everyone’s different. Talking about death can be tricky, no one really likes to talk about it. I think that’s because socially, there is a fear of death and dying. Sometimes it can almost seem like if you have a conversation about death that it will slowly creep into the room, almost like you are jinxing yourself. What I’ve found from working in a career where I speak about or see death every day, even people who are reluctant to talk about death, once they do and the conversation has come to an end that they are more comfortable with it. The stigma is gone and what seemed like the scary unknown isn’t scary anymore, its just part of life.

Starting that conversation can be done many ways. Some people relieve anxiety through humour so cracking a few jokes to ease into the conversation may be what’s needed. As strange as that may sound, I have seen this many times, depending on the person it can take a lot of that tension away. Other people are very practical and logical, having the conversation with a person like this may be easier than you would have thought. Being so logical they understand that death is inevitable and so talking about it makes sense. Sometimes people may just flatly refuse to have the conversation, that’s ok too. In that instance I would seek out another person to have that conversation with, this way your wishes have been spoken about and someone knows what you want. If there is no one that you can find to have the conversation with, speak with a Funeral Director. We can help to put plans in place for you and can also suggest some ways that are specific to your situation about how you can approach the conversation with your loved ones in a way that’s not confronting to them.

Working in the funeral industry sometimes you meet families who have had a loved one pass away and they all have a different idea about what that person wanted for their funeral. Either they never spoke about it at all or they had different conversations with their family members. What they initially told the first person changed by the time they spoke to the third some years later. This can put a lot of additional stress on families. They want to do what they feel their loved one wanted and when everyone has different ideas about what that might look like, it can end up being tricky. In these moments of confusion and conflict mixed with all the grief that comes with loosing someone that you love, that’s when having regret about not having these conversations comes up. It’s hard seeing a family go through this, as much as we are able to guide them and help everyone come to a decision that everyone is happy with, we know that seeing them fight isn’t what their loved one would have wanted.

When do you start having the conversations about the end of your life with the ones you love? I personally don’t think there is a wrong time. The unfortunate reality is that the world is full of uncertainties and accidents happen every day. At 18 I never would have thought about having this conversation with my parents, now I feel differently. I should have. I have had the conversations with my parents and husband, from my side and theirs, and I would encourage you to do the same.

If you have questions about starting conversations about the end of your life or questions about funerals in general, why not get in touch with us on 1300 043 522 or email [email protected]

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