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Talking About Death With Aging Parents

Talking about death with aging parents is likely to be emotionally heavy. The topic brings forth an acknowledgement that life is not forever and the feelings of grief that come along with losing a loved one.

Before bringing up the discussion, be sure to understand your parents and their fears. Realize that they may be dealing with the deaths of peers, friends, siblings, and others in their age-range around them, so they may be particularly sensitive to the topic.

Share with your parents how hard the conversation is for you, because of how much he or she means to you and how you can’t imagine being without them. Also share how much you want to treasure the time you have together and how you’d like to help ensure their needs are met, both in life and upon death.

Ask your parents to discuss death with you and be sure to go at their pace. They may need to take their time in talking about death and also regarding how they want different aspects to be handled.

You should determine what your parents feelings and wishes are not only in death, but also their preferences in the event that they become sick or hospitalized.

At minimum, you should find out if your parents have the following already in place: a will, living will, an estate plan, and what your parents’ wishes are for burial, cremation and/or other funeral arrangements. The burden will be removed off of you and other loved ones if a will, living will, estate plan, and pre-planned funeral are in place.

All-in-all it’s important to connect with your parents in this emotional conversation to ensure that you can confidently execute their wishes. Although it’s a difficult conversation to have, you will feel relieved to have a better understanding of their needs and wants.

Benefits of pre-planning a funeral

Although many people don’t like talking about death, it’s a very important topic to discuss with those that are closest to you. By sharing your wishes now, you will relieve the burden associated with trying to make the “right” decision on how arrangements should be made. This insight will give peace of mind to those closest to you, especially in the event of a fatal accident, illness or injury.

By planning your own funeral in advance, you will allow for those closest to you to concentrate on the difficult process of grieving and coping with the loss without the worry of details such as choosing flowers for your coffin, clothes for you to wear, or even the cost of burial or cremation.

In terms of cost, pre-planning fully eliminates the emotional overspending that often results from from grief or guilt, while also relieving you and your family from future financial responsibility. Our funeral home has options to make sure your funeral is fully funded and price protected years in advance of your need.

Pre-planning gives you the opportunity to personalize your funeral and make it a tribute to the life you lived. It’s a great way to get your loved ones involved and can make a difficult experience a more positive one. To walk through our pre-planning guide, please visit the following link: http://www.horancares.com/_mgxroot/page_10818.php.

Funeral Etiquette: Knowing What To Say

In addition to the emotions and sympathy one feels when attending a funeral, you might also find yourself struggling with what to say and how to say it. It may be especially hard to find the right words when you do not know the person who has passed and are attending the funeral service to support a friend, colleague or neighbor with the loss of their loved one.

We all know that no matter how well thought out our words are, there simply is nothing we can say that will completely turn their grief around. But there are still some considerations that you may want to take note of in finding the right words to say.

Please always keep in mind that even if the family members are holding themselves together, they are still feeling deep sorrow. It’s important, in most cases, to remain serious and compassionate to avoid making someone feel uncomfortable. In some cultures, a casual approach may be misinterpreted as disrespectful, therefore unless you are very familiar with the family, try to keep a serious tone and conservative approach.

Sympathy and compassion are the two emotions that should be conveyed through your words. Although somewhat of a cliché, speak from your heart. In most cases, it isn’t what you say, it is the fact that you are there that means more to the family than anything. Simply stating that you are sorry for their loss, is an acceptable phrase, but sometimes hearing something more means a lot to those coping with their loss.

When helping a friend or loved one through this difficult time, avoid distracting them or making them feel guilty for their sorrows. Never tell them to stay strong for the sake of the children or for any others. And truly be there for them. Chances are, they just need a friend to listen to them.

Sometimes it’s not only about what you say, but it’s also what you do. Write a short letter or give them a card expressing your sympathy. Sometimes simply hugging the family and letting them know that you are here to help them out goes a long way. If your religious and the family is as well, letting them know that you are praying for them, will also be well received. Offering to help with preparations, children, meals or other tasks is also a great way to show you care.


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