Discussing Funeral Plans and End of Life Wishes: How to Raise the Subject 0

discussing funeral plans

Though death might seem ubiquitous in today’s society -we are surrounded by images of it in newspapers, on television, in films and video games, and most people will have experienced the loss of at least one close friend or family member- the old D word remains a thorny topic that we generally avoid talking about.

 

While this has a pronounced effect on how we deal with death psychologically and emotionally, it can also impact on the more practical aspects of preparing for the passing of a loved one. Although it can be difficult to talk about funeral plans and end of life wishes, doing so ensures that you’re ready for the eventuality of death and that the individual in question is remembered in the way they would like to be. Broaching the subject of death can be tricky, but it is something that should definitely be discussed at one stage or another.

discussing funeral plans

Why it’s important to talk about end of life wishes

Besides the more personal, emotional reasons for beginning to discuss the issue of death, there’s a number of practical reasons for doing so too. For most people, it’s important to know that their loved one’s final wishes will be respected and that any funeral service reflects their character and honours the role they played in people’s lives. A large part of this involves ensuring that all practical considerations have been taken care of and that nothing stands in the way of delivering the funeral they deserve and desire. In this regard, researching funeral plans, or discussing the matter with funeral directors, drawing up a will and taking note of any particular last wishes, can ease the burden of grief and provide some peace of mind. Funeral plans in particular can ease both the emotional and financial pressure of arranging a funeral.

 

How to talk about death

While knowing why it’s important to openly discuss death is one thing, actually doing so is another matter entirely. How you go about raising the subject will depend on your personal circumstances, but there are a number of different approaches you can take. Whichever way you choose, it’s important to remember not to force the issue if the individual in question is uncomfortable talking about their own mortality.

 

Some families have a relationship that allows them to talk directly and openly about such matters, making it a great deal easier to discuss the practicalities of funeral plans and end of life wishes. In such a case, you may be able to talk about it whenever you feel it most appropriate. This could be a one on one chat or it may include all those involved in the planning process or close to the individual. This ensures that you don’t have to keep bringing up the issue in conversation and it prevents anyone from feeling left out of the planning process.

 

In other contexts, it may be more difficult to talk about end of life wishes without the assistance of a prompt or a reason for doing so. In this case, you could try to casually raise the subject in relation to another death – perhaps that of a relative, friend or celebrity, or even a character in a TV show or film. By talking about someone else’s death, it’s easier to ask less direct questions such as ‘have you ever thought about what you would like to happen when you pass?’ By beginning by talking about someone else, you make the discussion less about their mortality and more about death in general, giving you an opportunity to have a more relaxed and informal conversation that may make the process easier.

 

Finally, it’s a good idea to remember that it’s often a great deal easier to have these conversations sooner rather than later. While it’s not always possible, talking about death when it’s a more distant concept is far less frightening than when confronted with it as a close and realistic proposition. By starting early, you give yourself more time to discuss end of life wishes, prepare for the eventuality of death, and make it easier to broach the topic with a loved one.

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When should you start thinking about your own funeral? 0

thinking about your own funeral

Although there is no prescribed age at which you should begin thinking about your own funeral, there’s a number of reasons you shouldn’t leave it too late. Here we take a look at why it’s best to take a more practical approach and to start contemplating how you would like your own funeral to be at a much younger age.

 thinking about your own funeral

You’re never too young…

Ultimately, you’re never too young to start thinking about your own funeral. Though it may sound slightly macabre to talk about funeral arrangements before a funeral becomes a likely proposition, there are a number of advantages to beginning to contemplate what you would want from a memorial service and how you’re going to finance it. Often, planning ahead can leave you in a better financial position, make you feel more secure and help to ensure your funeral is exactly how you would like it to be.

 

Talking about death

One of the key advantages of beginning to think and talk about your funeral arrangements at a younger age is that it encourages us to talk about death and dying. In a number of ways, contemporary society is incredibly uncomfortable with death and has managed to sideline and hide it from view. We use euphemisms instead of referring to death directly, avoid discussions surrounding the topic, and try to push it from our minds as much as possible. Rather than accepting it as a part of life and treating it as such, death has become somewhat of a taboo subject. This can be both an unhealthy and unhelpful approach to take, so it’s important to start talking more openly at a younger age about death, dying and funerals.

 

Funeral Plan

There’s also a more practical reason for starting to think about your own funeral at an earlier stage in your life. If you begin by looking at the Beyond Open Plan, you’ll discover that such a plan freezes the price of a funeral at today’s rates. With the cost of funeral services expected to rise at an incredible rate over the next few years, this could save you an enormous amount of money in the long run. Not only does it guarantee a cheaper funeral, it gives you complete control over the arrangements, ensuring everything’s exactly as you want it.

 

It can be a comfort to your family

Organising a funeral is difficult, especially if you’re grieving. You want to make sure that every detail is as your loved one would have wanted it, from the music to the dress code. If you haven’t recorded your wishes anywhere, this places an added burden onto your family.

 

It only gets harder

Finally, it’s also important to think about what happens if you leave your funeral plans to the last minute. For some people, making their own funeral arrangements later in life doesn’t really pose a problem. For others, it can be extremely difficult. As we get older, when death becomes a more realistic proposition and we’re confronted with our own mortality, it can be a challenge to talk about these important issues. Rather than discussing them with family members or friends, many people avoid their fear of death by sidestepping the subject, leaving them unprepared at the end of their lives. By starting to talk about death at a younger age, we can ensure this isn’t the case.

Why It’s Important to Set Goals in Later Life 0

set goals

Whether it’s writing your bucket list, looking after your physical fitness or simply getting those important jobs out of the way, setting goals is a vital component in planning for the future and ensuring that life meets your expectations.

 

This is particularly true as you get older. Not only do you have to think about the ways you would like to spend your retirement, there’s your health to maintain and important financial decisions, such as taking out a funeral plan to make. By setting goals in all aspects of your life, you give yourself a clearly defined objective to work towards and make achieving it that much easier. Here, we take a look at a few more reasons why it can be a good idea to set goals as you get older.

set goals in later life

Fresh perspective

Though most people focus on the benefits of working hard towards their goals, it’s also important to note the positive aspects inherent in the actual goal-setting process. By sitting down and taking the time to think about the areas of your life on which you would like to focus, where you would like to improve yourself and what things are important to you as an individual, you can often get a fresh perspective on how you’re living life and what can be changed. It’s all too easy to go through life without asking these difficult questions of yourself, so any opportunity to do so should be embraced.

 

Looking after your health

Whether you’re setting physical fitness goals or more general lifestyle goals, having a plan of action and knowing how you want to spend your time is incredibly important to remaining fit and healthy. While all physical exercise, no matter how gentle or intermittent it is, helps maintain healthy body functions, other hobbies, activities and excursions also help to ensure your mind gets a workout too.

 

Keep learning

As you get older, there’s often a tendency to slow down and begin to drop or stop activities and hobbies that you have maintained for many years. While there’s no problem with slowing down -it’s only natural as you age- it’s important to ensure that life doesn’t become a matter of sitting back and simply observing and reminiscing.

 

Such an attitude can often lead to a type of mentality that considers life already lived, with there being nothing left to strive for. No matter your age, this simply isn’t true. By setting goals and keeping motivated, you can stave off these unhelpful sensations and continue to live a fulfilling and purposeful life, and keep learning new things.

 

Making the most of your time

Setting goals in later life is all about making the most of your time and ensuring you do things that you feel are important and valuable.

 

For many people, retirement offers freedom from the 9-5 commitments of professional life and the opportunity to live a largely pressure-free and enjoyable life. Most of us will have worked hard for the majority of our lives in expectation of a comfortable retirement. Consequently, setting goals to ensure you remain active not only makes the most of your free time, but also makes the most of all those years working hard to earn such a retirement. Planning ahead and prioritising certain goals allows you to justify all of those years spent working by ensuring you enjoy those yet to come.

 

The reward

Finally, setting goals is important in later life because of the incredible amount of satisfaction achieving them brings about. Although this is true of setting and achieving goals in any stage of your life, the feeling is oftened amplified as we got older and begin to think of ourselves as less able or less likely to do the things that are important to us.

 

By setting goals and working hard to achieve them, we give ourselves the opportunity to feel that satisfaction time and time again, whether it’s something as simple as redecorating the house or as life-changing as learning a new language.

 

If you need some goal inspiration, check out our bucket list ideas article.