Bringing up your own passing, or that of a loved one can be difficult and emotional. It’s understandable; death and bereavement is still a taboo subject in society.

In fact, less than 1% of people know all of their loved ones’ funeral wishes, and 17% don’t know any of their wishes at all.

You might struggle to start the conversation, or avoid the topic completely, but it’s important to talk about death and funeral planning with your loved ones.

If you’re unsure how to start the conversation, or how to go about planning your own funeral, we can help. In this article, we explore how to discuss funeral plans with your loved ones.

How to start the difficult conversation

The thought of talking about your funeral, or the funeral of a family member can be uncomfortable and scary. But it’s an important conversation that needs to be had.

It can be difficult to find the right moment, so here are some tips for starting the conversation.

  • A casual conversation over a cup of tea - Discussing your death in an informal setting can help your loved ones feel more comfortable and open to asking questions.
  • Gather your family together - If you prefer a more straightforward, direct approach, it might be better to gather your loved ones together to talk openly about funeral planning. It will make things much easier for your family when the time comes.
  • Start with your basic wishes - Ease into the talk by starting with some simple preferences, such as whether you’d like a cremation or burial.

Now you have some tips to begin the conversation, let’s discuss what you might want to talk about next.

discussing funeral plans

Talking about your own funeral plans

When documenting your wishes to your family, make it a little easier by deciding what kind of funeral you’d like. 

This is a good starting point for your family to work from, and will make things easier when the time does come.

Here are few points you might want to talk about.

  • Would you prefer a burial, cremation or direct cremation?
  • Do you want a religious or non-religious funeral?
  • Will you want a gathering or celebration after the funeral?

Once the most important aspects of your funeral wishes have been made clear, it’s time to decide what happens next.

If you have no strong feelings about the finer details, make it clear to your family that they are free to do what feels right at the time.

Equally, if you’d prefer to organise a funeral that truly reflects your character, consider smaller details such as:

  • Do you have any favourite songs or hymns that are special to you?
  • Are there any funny stories or uplifting milestones that you’d like mentioned in your eulogy?
  • Would you prefer a traditional funeral wake or a celebration of your life?
  • Where would you like your funeral to be? Where should your ashes to be scattered?
  • If there are any attendees, how should they dress?
talking about funeral plans

Starting a conversation with someone who is dying

It can feel awkward to approach the topic of funeral plans with someone who is dying, but discussing their funeral plans and finances is important and it can actually give them peace of mind during their final days.

Asking about their funeral plans

As sad as it may be, remember to approach any conversations openly. Try and make the conversation as comfortable as possible for your loved one. Gather their thoughts and gently ask simple questions. 

Be prepared that you might both become emotional, which is normal and expected. 

Some of the questions you might want to consider are:

  • Burial or cremation? Some people will have a preference. 
  • Would they prefer a traditional funeral or celebration of life?
  • What type of wake might they prefer?
  • Where should the funeral be held?
  • If they have chosen cremation, where should ashes be buried or scattered?

The details of the funeral aren’t the only thing you need to consider when someone is dying. Once you have an understanding of your loved ones wishes, there are other important matter to discuss too, such as as finances.

Whilst discussing the details of the funeral can bed sad, talking about the finances of the funeral can be just as difficult. 

In 2020, 63% of people made financial provisions before they passed away. But only 64% of these people made provisions that were enough to cover the cost of the whole funeral. This means that loved ones may have had to pay for the rest.

It's important to find out from your loved ones what provisions, if any, have been made for the funeral costs. Finding out this information will give the family a starting point, and will make things easier to manage when the time comes. 

Funeral service

Arranging a funeral with Celebration of Life

With a simple, fuss-free direct cremation service alongside our pre-paid funeral plan, our aim is to provide affordable funerals tailored to you. If you'd like to learn more about our pre-paid funeral plans and how we can support your funeral wishes, please contact our friendly team today.

Available 24/7 on 0800 150 3555

Give us a call if you need funeral advice, would like to arrange a direct cremation, or just want to say hi. We're available 24 hours a day.

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