In the first place, be kind and understand where this resistance comes from. Death is just not a popular topic. When we start talking about our own death, it might spark anxiety in our loved ones. They are not interested in seeing us dead. Who can blame them? I do not like losing people in death either. Funerals remind me that I have lost that physical connection I have always had with those I love. It is the same for those we might need to talk to about our final plans. Talking about death also reminds them that they are mortal as well. Talking about death is a radical thing to do, so be gentle with those you love.
Making a will is a good place to start when making final plans. Some things need a discussion. If you are married and have children, you need to make plans on who will have custody of children if you should both die. You need to discuss how your estate will be handled and all those things a lawyer needs to deal with in making a will. I highly recommend everyone make a will. If you do not make a will, the government gets to decide things for you. The government might not think the way you do and might not see things as you would. Take the time and get it done.
When making your funeral plans married people might have a spouse who does not want to engage in an open and frank conversation with us about funeral and burial plans. What can you do then? If you are willing and able, you can start doing the research on your own and start the process of planning. When you have come to a place where you need to talk about ideas, I suggest you find a close friend or other member of the family with whom you can talk. Write your plan down and keep it somewhere safe. Make sure you have told your friend or family member where the plan can be found. Tell your spouse that you have a plan, where it is and who will be able to help him or her in the event of your death. Remember making a plan is an act of love for your family, and they will be happy that you have given them direction when the time comes.
What if you are not married? Who do you talk with about your final plans? If you have a sibling, or a close relative who will likely be in charge of your body at the time of death, start a conversation with them. If you are part of a spiritual community, have a conversation with the person who will direct your memorial or funeral. You have to find a trusted person who will be able to assist you in your plans. Always write your plans down on paper. Tell them that you have made a plan, what it entails and where to find this plan.
Just because we are open about talking about death and making our funeral plans, not everybody is. Just because those close to us are unwilling to talk, does not mean that we can’t find someone to meet this need. Always act out of kindness and love. Death is a tough subject and potentially touches on some deep pain, sorrow or fear. It would do us no good to approach the topic from a point of conflict. Perhaps seeing you process the topic and move forward might inspire those who are reluctant to move closer to being open about death.