Funerals are for the Living too

During Dying Matters week there are a lot of conversations happening about death, dying and grief to raise the importance of openly discussing these important issues, and lift the veil of what is for many still a taboo subject. Arguably discussions about funeral wishes can be one of the most difficult subjects to broach with loved ones but it is important to have this difficult conversation and be aware of the choices that are available when planning a celebration of life service.

As an organisation that oversees more than 20,000 services annually Memoria staff see first-hand how grief can make it difficult for loved ones to arrange a funeral service for someone they have just lost. People are not aware of the options available and often wonder whether the service they planning is the ‘type’ of service that their loved one would have wanted, which can cause even more distress at this difficult time.

Making it easier for the living to arrange a funeral means that they can say goodbye knowing that they have celebrated a life lived and life loved.

Funerals are as much for the living as they are for the person that has passed away, so here are a few ways to help your loved ones cope when planning your funeral.

  • Talk to your family about your wishes, especially if you want more than just a traditional service.
  • Be aware of the choices that are available, the internet has made organising and planning a funeral so much easier
  • Don’t be motivated by keeping costs low when planning your own funeral and just have a direct cremation because you believe saving money is more important. It may not be what your family wants and may cause them distress when they realise that your plans did not factor in them being able to say goodbye. This is why it is important to have a conversation early
  • Put your wishes into writing for loved ones to refer to when needed
  • Do you want a memorial? If so, do you have any preference
  • Do you have a funeral plan in place? If so do people know how to access it and what it covers?
  • Have the conversation now – the unthinkable can happen at any time so be open about the subject and;
  • Don’t be afraid of silences or emotion – it is a difficult conversation so just let it flow naturally

In this video Howard Hodgson, Memoria CEO and Frank, Meilack, Community Engagement Director discuss the importance of discussing your funeral wishes and why your wishes may not be the same as what your family may want to plan – something that can cause great distress to them at a time of profound grief.

Having the conversation about dying shouldn’t only happen during Dying Matters Week. Get in touch to discuss funeral planning.

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