Have the Talk of a Lifetime Month: Beginning the Funeral Planning Process

Posted by: Erin Ward in Funeral Planning Resources, Funeral Advice | July 8, 2021
Did you know November is Have the Talk of a Lifetime Month? The Funeral and Memorial Information Council created the Have the Talk of a Lifetime program to encourage families to have open conversations about death and funeral planning.

Talking about death doesn’t have to be scary. With the right tools, your family can discuss how you want to be remembered and learn more about each other in the process.

If you don’t have the talk, it can lead to uncomfortable conversations down the road and result in a service that doesn’t properly honor the life being remembered. By setting aside some time to have the conversation, you can make sure that everyone’s legacy is properly remembered.

We know it’s a tough subject, but by getting a little creative, you can even have some fun throughout the process! Below are a few activities for beginning the funeral planning conversation.

Have the Conversation Around the Dinner Table

Having the funeral planning conversation can be as simple as talking about it around the dinner table. With our busy schedules, it can be hard to get everyone together, so your family can take advantage of that time when everyone is together for dinner. You can go around the table and share ideas and ask questions. If you want a less formal setting, you can meet in your living room after dinner instead.

Organize Your Emergency Contacts and Health Information

A great way to start openly talking about death is to make sure your emergency contacts are up to date. Most cellphones let you add emergency contacts and important health information if something were to happen to you. To make sure the right people are contacted, check with your family members to see who should be assigned as whose emergency contacts. Also, ask them their preferred phone number — whether it’s their cell phone, home phone, or work phone.

Create Pinterest Boards with Your Ideal Funeral Arrangements

If you’re interested in a more creative activity, you can create Pinterest boards for your ideal funeral service. This may seem a bit strange, but when you think about it, funeral planning is not all that different from planning a wedding or another important life event. They both have very similar elements, like choosing decorations, flowers, and seating arrangements. If you wish, you can make the board private and share it with just your family members.

Answer Questions About Your Funeral Wishes

Another way to start the conversation is to come up with questions for everyone to answer. Then, everyone can take turns reading their answers out loud. These can be about funeral planning specifically, like if you prefer burial or cremation. Or they can be about how you want to be remembered and what’s most important to you.

You also can reach out to your local funeral home for more ideas, resources, and any events they’re hosting related to Have the Talk of a Lifetime Month. For example, many funeral homes have the Have the Talk of a Lifetime Cards with conversation starters on them to learn more about each other. When you’re ready, you also can talk to your chosen funeral home about preplanning your funeral arrangements.

How is your family participating in Have the Talk of a Lifetime Month? Share your ideas with us in the comments!

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