At Sunset View Cemetery & Mortuary, we’ve noticed in recent years that more and more people in the El Cerrito, Oakland, Berkeley, and Richmond communities are planning their own funeral. And some choose to do it rather early in life – many as soon as they retire. These people realize that not only are they taking the opportunity to express their own desires about their farewell, they’re removing a huge burden from their family. When the time comes, there will be no guessing and no arguments about what they would have wanted. Everything will be right there, in black and white.
For those who do preplan, it’s easy for them to see the benefits and to want to encourage others to do the same – especially their own parents. Many people encourage their aging parents to take care of practical items like a will or an advanced health directive. But making funeral prearrangements can be just as important and should be included in those end-of-life discussions.
It can be hard to broach the topic with your mom or dad. What’s the best way to approach the subject without causing offense or making them uncomfortable? We have several tips to offer:
- Begin by acknowledging it’s not an easy topic to talk about. No one wants to think about their own death, and you certainly don’t want to dwell on how you will feel when your parents are gone.
- Point out that death is a part of life, and we simply don’t know when the moment will come.
- Explain why this will be helpful to you and your family. Express your desire to follow their wishes when it comes to their remembrance and final disposition.
- Recognize the truth about your health or your parent’s health. If your mother or father is in poor health, the reasons to plan are even more urgent.
- If you’ve preplanned yourself, tell them some of the reasons you made that choice. Most likely, the love for your family and desire to make your death easier for them will be at the top of the list.
- Make sure your parents know they don’t have to tell you every aspect of their plan right now. They can meet privately with us here at Sunset View Cemetery & Mortuary, or complete their arrangements online whenever and wherever they’re most comfortable.
- On the other hand, you might offer to help them make their plans.
- Reassure them of your love and their importance in your life. Tell them you hope you won’t need these plans for many years to come but explain that this will bring you peace of mind, knowing things will be handled the way they would have wished. It’s truly a gift of love.
Here at Sunset View Cemetery and Mortuary, we are here to help you and your family with funeral prearrangements. We can even provide you with an example of how this conversation might go for you. Reach out to us anytime, or you can find more information or begin the planning process right here on our online home.