When a loved one is diagnosed with a terminal illness, it’s natural to want to talk about your wishes for funeral services. You must talk about these decisions before any major health changes happen to be put in place ahead of time if needed. We will discuss five tips on talking to your loved ones about funeral plans and share some things you should think about when planning them yourself.
1) Create a List of Your Wishes
One way to begin thinking about your funeral wishes is by creating a list. This can be an informal piece where you jot down some important things, or it may mean setting aside time for actual planning if you prefer. On this list, include any details that would make the service perfect for you. You may want to include your favorite songs or poems, personal anecdotes about loved ones who have passed on, the location of the service, and any specific phrases that would mean a lot to you.
If possible, share this list with your family members, so they know exactly what type of services you’re envisioning. It’s important that they understand your wishes, especially if you’re the only one who knows them. If they have a better idea of what you want, it will be easier for them to carry out your final requests and honor your memory in the way that matters most to you at this time.
2) Ensure Your Loved Ones are Aware of Important Details
While you’re thinking about your funeral wishes, it’s also important to take some time to talk with loved ones. Ensure that they know where your final wishes are kept and who will be in charge of carrying them out after you pass away. If there is a specific person or company you want caring for the logistics behind your service, inform them so that they are prepared. It’s also helpful to let your family members know where other important information is kept, such as the location of birth certificates and death certificates.
3) Make Your Funeral Wishes Clear in Advance
One way to make your wishes clear is by signing a living will. This document ensures that you’re able to state your funeral preferences ahead of time and sets out the type of end-of-life care you want for yourself. If you don’t have one yet, it’s not too late to make one. In fact, it’s a great idea to do so as soon as possible if you haven’t already taken the time to do this for yourself and your family members.
4) Use Planning Tools to Organize Your Final Wishes
If you find that planning out your funeral wishes brings up a lot of emotions, it may be helpful to use some additional tools. For example, there are now online planners available for pre-planning funerals and documenting final arrangements. What’s great about these services is that they’re designed to help you think through all of your options and make it easy for family members to know what’s going on throughout the process.
5) Don’t Forget Your Pets’ Wishes
When you’re thinking through your final arrangements, don’t forget to include the pets that matter most in your life. There are many ways to honor them at a funeral service and ensure they receive all of the care and attention they deserve during this difficult time. If you have any questions about how best to honor your pets after they pass away, talk to a funeral director or animal crematorium about all of the options available.