Most people are uncomfortable discussing death, even more so when talking about their death and final wishes. Unfortunately, these are meaningful conversations that every family should have. Not knowing the final wishes of your loved one places you at a disadvantage should something happen. Not only will you bear the brunt of trying to plan their final funeral services, but you will run the risk of not doing what they wanted. Here are a few ways to open up the conversation about what to do when that time comes.
Be Open About Your Final Plans
Sharing is caring. Conversations about final wishes need to be two-way conversations. Just like you need to know your family's wishes and desires, they also need to know yours.
Being open and having discussions about what you would like during your final days and during your funeral services can jump-start a conversation for your loved one to share their wishes.
Remember, you don't just need to know their desires for the funeral home after death. You also need to know what they desire leading up to their death. Some things you need to know include:
- Do they want to be listed as Do Not Resuscitate/Do Not Intubate
- Do they want to donate their organs
- Do they want to be placed on life support
- Do they have a Living Will
The doctors at the hospital will ask you these questions if your loved one is involved in an accident. If you know the answers in advance, you will be able to not panic during critical times.
Plan Your Conversation
If your loved one is particularly skittish about discussing death, plan the conversation you want to have with them. Plan when and where the conversation will take place, and practice what you will say in your head.
Tailor your approach for what will appeal to that particular person. While some people may need one-on-one conversations, others may feel more comfortable discussing this topic when others are around.
Prepare your questions in advance to gather the most information you can. Be sure to ask if you can write their wishes down. While final wishes are subject to change, it is easy to forget what you discussed if you do not record it.
Listen And Learn
Remember, these are their wishes and desires. You don't have to agree with them, but you need to listen and learn what they want in their final days. Having this knowledge will make life easier for you when and if you ever have to make these decisions for them.
For help with your planning, contact a local funeral home.