Article by Doug Wagemann, president/CEO of Cochrane & Wagemann, Funeral Directors
More and more people are asking me for advice as they look for ways to have that difficult conversation with their parents about the “F” word: funeral.
Hey, let’s face it: No one really wants to think about the prospects of dying, let alone discuss it with family. While it’s one of the most difficult conversations you’ll experience, it can also be one of appreciation, love and understanding…a once-in-a-lifetime conversation that will be handed down for generations.
While there are no rules for having this talk, here are 7 tips for starting and continuing the conversation:
-- Don’t stress over how or when you will begin the conversation.
-- Understand that this might not just be ONE conversation—it may take several.
-- Bring out family photos, heirlooms and other treasured items to begin the conversation by sharing stories, life experiences, etc.
-- Rely on open-ended questions that require more than a “one-word” answer (i.e. “Describe the time…,” “Tell me about…,” “How did you feel when…,” etc. and then ask follow-up questions.
-- Listen carefully with an open mind and heart. Avoid passing judgment.
-- If you mention a topic that makes the other person uncomfortable, respect their wishes and move on.
-- Discuss how YOU want to be remembered; then ask how THEY want to be remembered.
Reprinted from Style Media Group.