It is not often an easy topic to bring up. Discussing last wishes during a holiday dinner or birthday celebration would be awkward and even inappropriate. But at some point, it is a necessary conversation to have with family members.
Such a discussion may be more appropriate following the loss of a friend or relative. Or could be done when considering downsizing or when preplanning.
If you are at a point where you are considering your last wishes, here are three tips to get the topic started.
Use Treasured Items as a Topic Starter
Every family has its own heirlooms and items it views as valuable. It could be an antique piece of furniture, a painting, silverware, or a handmade quilt. It can be a bit easier to ask family members about their interest in items you have rather than addressing the entire “final wishes” topic at once. It can also serve as a signal you are thinking about such things. Items should be a written inventory of valuables and who you wish to have them.
A simple way is to number items and create a list of those numbers with the names of the people they should go to. This can serve as a ramp to the road to discussing other final wishes.
Make Your Wishes Directly Known
It can be important to let those closest to you know about your wishes, especially critical ones. If you want to be cremated, let that be known. If you want a celebration of life, let those closest to you know. If you want services to be private or inexpensive, let that be known as well. Once you cover the larger issues like cremation vs traditional burial, you can move on to smaller details like songs you love or who you would like to give a eulogy. Be sure to include favorite charities and non-profit organizations to request donations in your name.
Be Ready to Move On
If some subjects become too emotional or sensitive, or if family members want to debate your choices, be ready to move on in your discussions. They can always be addressed later as other plans are agreed upon.
This is one of the many reasons preplanning is so valuable and meaningful. It can remove doubts and make your wishes clearer. While family members may not always be in agreement, they will at least know your desires.
The interesting thing about preplanning final services is that people only do it once. They may change or modify plans or wishes, but once made, plans are frequently set. This is where working with a caring, experienced funeral home has so much value. At Fares J. Radel Funeral Homes and Crematory, we’ve been assisting families in Northern Kentucky and Cincinnati for generations. We have seen how a variety of families deal with sensitive issues, and we can use that experience to help you through any challenges that may arise. We can even come to your home to assist you in preplanning if that makes you more comfortable.
Our family would be honored to serve your family. For Cincinnati, Ohio, and Northern Kentucky funerals and cremations, turn to Fares J. Radel Funeral Homes and Crematory.
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