Death is the one thing that all of us will face eventually. However, many people feel uncomfortable talking about death and tend to sweep it under the carpet. As we age, it’s even more important to begin talking about death especially to be better prepared for the future.
While it may be a bitter pill to swallow initially, preparing your family for your death in advance will ease the trauma and help them to cope after your passing. If you’re wondering how or where to start, here are some tips to help you.
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1. Come to terms with your death
You need to come to terms with death before you can begin to prepare your family for it. Attending the funeral services of friends and loved ones can help us to come to terms with the reality of death. It may even prompt us to start thinking about our own. This is when people would start making a list of their end-of-life wishes to ensure their funeral goes smoothly and lighten the planning burden on their family.
2. Look for an opportunity to talk about dying
Once you are comfortable with the idea of your death, you can start looking for an opportunity to bring it up to your family. Perhaps you could start talking about the future and gently introduce the subject, but don’t push it too hard.
Instead, bring up the subject slowly and sensitively. If your family member gets anxious or upset, try to be patient and empathetic. Remember, this is an emotional roller coaster for them as much as it is for you.
3. Consider engaging emotional support services
You may have come to terms with death, but your family members could find it hard to even think about it. Bringing up the topic could trigger feelings of pain, sadness or even anger. This is natural and expected; ultimately, no one wants to think about losing their loved one.
To facilitate this difficult conversation better, you may want to engage with a professional counsellor for your family. Emotional support services will help family members who find it hard to cope with the idea that you are planning for your death to deal with the fear and pain that comes with it.
4. Get to the practical stuff
When your loved ones show signs that they are comfortable with the topic, reach out to a funeral director who can help to demystify the aspects of planning your funeral. This can include choosing your preferred casket, funeral parlour venue, and other religious rites to take note of. You can also discuss with your family or seek an expert’s help on other practical matters like handling the estate, signing a lasting Power of Attorney, property, and other financial matters.
It’s never easy talking to your loved ones about death. But when you and your family have come to terms with the inevitable, such discussions will be more positive and productive. It will also help them execute your final wishes rather than leave them stressed out over last-minute arrangements.