Throughout your lifetime you’ll have many important conversations. Asking for a blessing from you better half’s parents, talking about starting a family, and negotiating a big job offer. Each of these conversations can be scary at the time but are important milestones you will reach in your lifetime.
The one conversation that often gets overlooked though; what your loved ones want their final wishes to be? Those 5 important words you need to ask: what are your final wishes?
For many, this is a conversation they want to avoid. Talking about death is something that’s never easy. It’s important to have this talk though because knowing how to honor a loved one is the first step in the process of grieving. By choosing to have this conversation, you’re taking the important step to know how your loved one wants to be remembered.
Where and When
The great thing about this talk Is that it can happen pretty much anywhere and with anyone you hold dear. Whether you’re walking through the park, sharing a meal, or fishing on the lake; you can talk about it whenever the time is right.
You don’t need to wait till your loved one is near the end of their life. The conversation is not just a one-time thing, but rather an ongoing conversation that will ultimately bring you closer to your loved one. It might be difficult to start, but it’s important to realize that it’s helpful to understand how your loved one wants to be remembered.
Start the Conversation
There are a lot of ways that you can start this conversation. Visual prompts are a great tool to use because they allow you to reflect over memories. Looking through an old photo album can begin a conversation about life that transitions into one about legacy. Other prompts could be a souvenir from a vacation they went on years ago or some small memento from when they first started dating their spouse.
Memorable places are also a great way to start the conversation. Talking about the church they’ve attended for fifty plus years or something happening in their favorite park. Starting the conversation around a place where they’ve made countless memories is helpful in getting them to open up and begin sharing stories with you.
Questions to Ask
Once you’ve started talking about their memories and sharing stories, there are a lot of important questions to ask. These will help you to better understand how they want to be remembered and keep the conversation flowing smoothly. Don’t think of this conversation as an interview but just a friendly talk with some talking points to include.
What’s your proudest achievement?
Is there one piece of advice you’ve never forgotten?
Who’s been the greatest inspiration in your life?
If you could spend a day doing anything, what would you do?
This is just a few of the endless amount of questions you could ask. The important thing to keep in mind is that the more you know, the better you can honor your loved one. By being able to pay tribute to your loved one, your family can begin to grieve and heal together.
Knowing how to honor them will also let you personalize their service. Some people may prefer to have a traditional funeral and others a more unique one. Some may wish to be buried and others to be cremated. By knowing the little details of a person’s life, you can ensure you are able to pay tribute to them in the most appropriate way.
Want to Learn More?
If you would like to learn more about having this conversation, please visit talkofalifetime.org. Here you will find useful information about having this talk, read other’s talk stories, and download a free E-Book to help have this talk.