How To Talk To Your Loved Ones About Funeral Planning

Talking about the future can be difficult. It can be even more trying when you want to talk to your aging parents or other loved ones about their end of life choices. At Hollywood Forever, we want to help you start these conversations and understand the many options you have when planning end of life services. Tackling these conversations can give you peace of mind and reassure your parents, spouse, or other loved ones that their wishes will be honored when it comes to their funeral wishes. If you approach these discussions with sensitivity and respect, the chances of a positive outcome are likely to be much higher. We hope this guide will be of assistance. 

How To Talk To Your Loved Ones About Funeral Planning

How To Get Started

When you begin, start by setting aside your own fears. Take a gentle tone that conveys your sincere desire to ensure you can help your loved one to create the future they envision. Some people have written wills or made other plans that express their desires, but others are hesitant to do that. You know your loved one best. Where in the planning stages are they? And what help do they need from you? Begin from a position of wanting to offer help.

Appreciate Their Fears and Anxieties

Aging can be wonderful, but it can bring its own set of anxieties. Your parent or spouse may feel they’re already contending with enough, including health concerns and anxieties about you and other loved ones. They may worry they can’t face these ideas.

When you approach them, acknowledge these fears. Say something like, “I know how difficult this is for you, but it would give me enormous peace and contentment to know that I’m honoring your wishes for the future. We don’t have to spend a lot of time on this, but if you could give me a few minutes, I would be grateful.”

Once you express your understanding in words, follow up with action. Don’t spend a long time on the discussion, and be wary of subjects that seem to cause them anxiety. It may take several conversations to get the answers you want, and that’s fine. Always be sensitive, take your time, and allow them to go at the pace they’re comfortable with.

What You May Want To Talk About

Once you’ve established open communication, you may want to focus on specific concerns. These are likely to include the following:

  • In-home healthcare
  • Advanced care and medical directives
  • Nursing home and rehabilitation care
  • Hospice
  • Funeral planning

How To Talk About Funeral Planning

This may be the most difficult part of your discussion, but in many ways, it may also be the most inspiring and uplifting. Try to maintain a gentle, sensitive tone, and keep your focus on your loved one’s wishes.

Ask them to envision the perfect ceremony. How do they want people to feel when remembering them? Who do they want to speak about their life? What life events do they want to be honored?

Get the Details

Try to get specifics. Some people may have long-held desires for the details of their funeral, including music, flowers, prayers, readings, and photographs they want to be displayed. Learn as many details as you can, and reassure your loved one that you will do everything you can to ensure their wishes are honored.

These are all questions that could allow you to gain a deeper understanding into your loved one’s wishes. Their answers may surprise you, but always allow them to speak freely.

How We Can Help

We hope you have found this guide for How To Talk To Your Loved Ones About Funeral Planning useful. At Hollywood Forever, we want to help you make the best decisions for you and your family to celebrate the memory of a life lived. If you have any questions about any of our services and funeral planning please contact us.


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