Three Weak Excuses For Not Sharing Your End-Of-Life Plans With Your Loved Ones


Have you planned your own funeral, or even shared any of your wishes with the people who will be responsible for handling your arrangements? It's usually not very high on people's to-do lists, although sometimes the sudden death of a loved one or colleague can spur you into action. However, avoiding the discussion is common and often leaves the survivors wondering what the deceased would have wanted. Many people simply make excuses for not pre-planning their funerals or even sharing their basic preferences for what happens to them when they die. Here are three weak excuses and the reasons why you shouldn't use them.

1. You think they already know.

You may think those closest to you know what you want to happen to you, but unless you've specifically told them or put it in writing, they probably don't. If you died suddenly, without having signed an organ donor card or health care proxy, they'd probably have no idea about your stance on organ donation or life support unless you made a point to talk about it a lot. You may never have talked about what type of casket you prefer, your feelings on cremation vs. burial, your disdain for wakes or your desire for a small private funeral. Don't use the assumption that they already know as an excuse to avoid formally telling them – they may not really know at all.

2. You think they'll do what's best no matter what.

Even sensible and level-headed people can be traumatized or overwhelmed when they actually have to make your end-of-life decisions or your funeral arrangements. Subsequently, they may not make what you consider to be rational decisions. They may feel like they are forced to make decisions under pressure and may not be able to think clearly or remember much. If several people are responsible, for example if you have multiple children, they may disagree or argue about what they think you wanted. If you prefer that they save the expense of a casket and grave and donate the money to your favorite charity instead, they may do the exact opposite if you don't convey your wishes clearly.

3. You think you're too busy.

Life is full of other responsibilities, but once you are gone it will be too late to tell people what you want, what you hate or how you expect your life will be celebrated and remembered.

Even if you don't make a formal written plan, jotting down a few notes and sharing them with your loved ones can help those who will be responsible. Pre-planning can also eliminate many of the stresses and make things easier for your survivors. If you've used these excuses in the past, talk to your family members, friends or a funeral director about your wishes - your survivors will appreciate it more than you think.


9 May 2016

Writing an Obituary: Do's and Don'ts

Following the death of my grandfather, I found myself in the awkward position of having to write the obituary. I wanted to capture the spirit of him and list everything he was proud of in his life, including his family and work accomplishments. However, at the same time, I knew that I had a limited amount of space to work with. After spending hours researching obituaries, I finally felt confident in my skills and proceeded to write my grandfather's. In my opinion, it was perfect. Writing an obituary while you are grieving your loss is challenging, but I hope that my website helps you write one for your loved one that helps capture who they were as a person.