How to Start the Conversation
Every family is unique. For some families, it might be a casual conversation over dinner; for others, a formal gathering. Regardless of your approach, the conversation is much easier to have when death is not imminent.
Bringing up the subject with loved ones earlier in life when they are younger, and most likely healthier, makes the topic easier to discuss and keeps the focus on the celebration of a life rather than an impending loss.
An easy opportunity may be the funeral of a friend, or one seen in on TV or movie. Perhaps an opening line may be something like “As life takes its course, I think we should all be aware of each others’ wishes.” Let your loved one know that their wishes will protect you from having to second guess and being left with possible doubts about your decisions. Let them also know that if there are several family members involved, lack of direction may lead to unnecessary disputes. There are benefits to pre-planning.
Deeper into the conversation, you may ask “Who do you envision the celebrant being? Do you think a large setting or small/intimate is better? What music would set the right atmosphere?”
Regarding the selection of a final resting place, too many of us are dismissive. The reality is that many of us want to have a physical place where we can feel close to our loved one; we might want a sense of permanence in a cemetery where family can visit with privacy. Perhaps a glass front niche with a collection of unique items that represent our lives may be well suited; and ensuring that there are no pressures left for future generations brings peace of mind.
Cremated remains and full body caskets share similar settings at Green Hill Memorial Park, ensuring that a calm, private and permanent resting place is accessible to visitors and future generations, regardless of preference and/or tradition.
Adults who wish to not burden their older or younger family members with financial responsibilities or decision making.