Discussing Your Funeral Plans with Loved Ones? Follow These Six Expert Tips

Friday, February 17, 2023

Discussing your funeral plans with loved ones isn’t easy, but it can provide remarkable peace of mind.

Advanced funeral planning and conversation alleviate the emotional burden and allow the healing process to begin. When the time comes, your loved ones will know that they have honored your wishes and won’t be left second-guessing themselves.

In this article, we will share six of our favorite tips for discussing your funeral plans in a way that is healthy and productive.

Prepare for the dialogue.

For many people, not knowing how to start the conversation prevents them from taking the first step. Consider each of your loved ones and how they might respond to the topic. For some families, a casual conversation over dinner may be the best approach. For others, a formal family meeting might be in order. As part of your preparations, take some time to think about how you can help ease any initial discomfort that may arise about the topic of death.

Consider the time and place.

Ensure that the setting is comfortable and private for an open, honest discussion. Choose a location that minimizes the risk of distractions, and be sure to allow plenty of time. The discussions about final arrangements will likely require a number of meetings, so don’t try to cover everything in one sitting. Your loved ones may also need time to cope with the idea of your passing. It’s often best to continue the dialog over several sessions.

Formulate some conversation-starters.

Questions like the following can open the discussion and make it easier for your loved ones to share their thoughts:

  • “Have you ever thought about how you would like to be remembered?”
  • “If you were to write your own eulogy, what would you say?”
  • “What type of funeral would you like to have?”

Gather your thoughts and write them down.

A funeral or memorial service is unlike any other event. The most memorable ones are planned with great attention to detail and include many personalized touches. You can plan almost any aspect of the service, including the venue, eulogists, music, readings, cemetery property, catering, and more. As you consider your funeral arrangements, use it as an opportunity to reflect on what has been most important in your life and weave these details into a deeply meaningful service.

Practice compassion.

It is very important not to rush the conversation or minimize the emotions of those involved. Even if talking about funeral planning makes your loved ones uncomfortable, do your best to continue the conversation by actively listening, rephrasing what you heard them say, and asking questions. Prepare yourself, too, for the range of emotions that may surface, such as shock, fear, distress, denial, or anger. Above all, be kind and understanding.

Turn to the experts.

Discussing funeral arrangements may feel overwhelming, but our compassionate funeral directors are here to help you plan the life celebration you envision, right down to the smallest detail. We can also guide you in talking about end-of-life planning with the people you love.

At Vaughn Greene Funeral Services, we realize that funeral prearrangement deliberations can be unsettling. Many people find that comfort in discussing their thoughts and preferences with caring funeral professionals. Our dedicated staff is experienced in helping families tailor services to meet their needs and budget, and we would be honored to assist you, too.

If you need more information about discussing your funeral plans with loved ones or if you wish to begin the prearrangement process, please contact us today.

About Vaughn Greene Funeral Services: For more than 25 years, Vaughn Greene Funeral Services has been providing a ministry of care to Baltimore’s African American community. As a leading local, minority- and family-owned provider, we promise to provide our highest level of service and respect to families who entrust us to honor their loved ones. For more information about our funeral, cremation, memorial, repast, and grief counseling services, please call us at 410.655.0015 or visit us online at https://vaughncgreene.com/.

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