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How To Have The Talk of a Lifetime & Keep The Conversation Going

Published: June 27, 2022

Bringing up the subject of final wishes with your loved ones is incredibly challenging, but it’s also extremely important.

FAMIC’s “Have the Talk of a Lifetime” campaign has brought a great deal of attention to this subject with their useful checklists and conversation cards, but how do you keep the conversation going?

More times than not, families have a hard time locating a social security number, and don't know the deceased parent’s names or where the deceased was born. You can prevent that unnecessary hassle and stress on your loved ones by figuring it all out ahead of time. Just by having a talk.

Don’t wait until you’re sick or dying, it’s helpful to preplan with a funeral home or a family member today to get all of your affairs in order, plan your final wishes, and complete vital paperwork that is necessary for death certificates, obituaries and more.

Did you know?

It’s been reported that less than 1% of people know all their loved one’s funeral preferences. Only two in five are sure whether their partner would like a religious or non-religious ceremony, and just over half know if they’d want a burial or cremation.

We all think we know those closest to us, but in reality most of us are unsure about the send-off our loved ones would really like. In fact, many of us haven't even considered what we'd like for our own send-off unless we've had to organize a funeral for someone else.

Having a conversation like this with your loved one is crucial and no matter your age, it’s never too early to start the conversation about death and funerals.

If you’ve followed the “Have the Talk of a Lifetime” brochure, then you know the Talk of a Lifetime is meant to start the conversation about how your loved one wants to be seen (or how you want to be seen when you’re gone). Afterwards, it’s important to continue that conversation. Expand by asking them a few additional questions and feel free to record their answers to keep track for the future.

Here are a few questions that you can use to spark that conversation:

How do you want to be remembered?

Do you have burial preferences?

Do any funeral songs, poems or hymns have special meaning to you?

Are there any nice or funny stories or life events you'd like mentioning in your eulogy?

Would you rather have a traditional funeral or a celebration of your life?

Do you want to be remembered with a memorial?

Where would you like your funeral to take place?

Where would you like your ashes to be scattered?

Would you like a burial, standard cremation, or direct cremation (no ceremony)?

Do you want a religious or non-religious funeral?

Sometimes it can be difficult finding the right moment, though, so we have some suggestions:

Talk it through over a cup of tea

While it’s an important topic, discussing your funeral plans in a relaxed and informal setting can make your loved ones more comfortable and open to asking questions.

Gather your adult children together

Gather all your adult children so you can have the conversation with the support of each other. This means you'll only need to start the conversation once, too, which will make things easier for everyone.

Begin with your basic wishes

Start the conversation with some simple preferences, such as whether you’d like a cremation or burial. Rather than giving your loved ones too much at once, ease into the talk and a discussion will follow.

Now we’ve given you some tips to start the conversation, here’s what you can do next:

Sharing a pre-arrangements form can be useful in knowing what questions need to be asked and what information needs to be documented. Feel free to print this form out or fill it out online with your loved one:

You may also request a free planning guide:

If at any time you have questions and would like to speak with a funeral home directly, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at Roupp Funeral Home.

Phone: 570-966-2402


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