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Have You Had The Other Talk?

Have You Had The Other Talk?A memorial service is a service held without the remains present, usually occurring within a week of a loved one’s death (although this has the tendency to vary based on individual circumstances). The memorial service itself is more informal than a funeral, and guests can exchange stories and other personal tributes to celebrate the life of the deceased. Individuals planning or attending a memorial service are encouraged to learn about proper memorial service etiquette, as many people have varying opinions on what the service should look like.

They say you're not supposed to talk about religion and politics at the table; but there's one thing people like talking about even less: their final wishes. The idea of sitting down with your mom and dad and discussing end-of-life issues likely isn't your idea of fun, but consider the alternative.

The alternative is that, one day, Mom or Dad passes away, and you are left totally unprepared and emotionally vulnerable during a difficult process with little planning. You want to plan and orchestrate a meaningful end-of-life event for your parent - a memorial service or a life celebration that will be just what your parents would have wanted. There's just one problem: You have no idea what they would have wanted because you never spoke with them about it during their lives.

Consider this as the first of hopefully many meaningful conversations going forward. The goal is to at least start the conversation.

Tips for Having the Conversation

  • Your parents have been around for a while and have experienced quite a bit in their lives. Don't always assume that they are not at least started thinking about their final wishes.
  • Ask them to help you make some decisions about the things in your life such as children and the rest of family. They might share some insight about their wishes, as well.
  • Plan an outing or project together to help make the conversation easier. Perhaps something you know they have always wanted to do. That way you can spend time together, talk about the past, and discuss what the future holds.
  • Offer to help them do something at their home or organize something like cleaning out an old storage closet or attic. You might run across some memorable items that start a conversation about plans for the future.
  • Talk to your siblings and gather their insight. In order to do this, a gathering or celebration may be in order. Sometimes spending time together as a family often opens the conversation about plans for the future.

If you have any questions of are ready to discuss options for formalizing a plan, please feel free to reach out to us. We would be honored to assist you and your family.

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