Five Tips For Communicating About A Funeral

Relationships & Family Blog

Grief can influence people's thoughts, actions, and decisions. If you and your family are planning a funeral for a loved one, communication can be painful and difficult. Here are some tips to help you communicate while planning a funeral.

1. Bring a friend. When you are meeting with a funeral director or other professional, bring a family friend along. You and your loved ones will be grieving and it may be difficult for you to make decisions. A trusted friend can take notes, listen to the details, and diffuse disagreements. 

2. Set a budget. Hopefully the deceased set aside some money for the funeral (giving you a budget), but if they didn't you will have to talk to your family members and set one. Each of you should contribute the same amount of money, either from the estate or from your own pockets. This can get very tricky, since people may want different things. Be as specific as possible, listing all the costs that may pop up. Remember that cutting costs does not mean you loved your deceased one any less. There are many ways to make a funeral memorable without spending lots of money. 

3. Write letters. Have each member of the immediate family write a letter about their vision for the funeral. It helps to get everything out in the open. Everyone should be as specific as possible, mentioning which things are the most important to them and why. When you get together to plan, pass the letters around and read them. Write down the things that are the most important to each person and start there. 

4. Talk about the private viewing. There are many things you can do at a private viewing before the funeral, too. Most funeral homes arrange for a viewing beforehand and you can decide how many people you would like to invite to that. If you keep it small, you can spend time sharing longer, more detailed memories of the deceased, freeing up some time during the funeral for other things. Each person may want a few minutes alone with the deceased, as well.

5. Be patient. All of you are hurting and hurtful comments may be made. Have patience with each other, validate everyone's emotions, and listen. Your loved one would not want you to fight or hurt one another. Use this time to comfort each other and grow closer. 

As you plan your loved one's funeral, follow these tips to improve your communication. Good luck! 


22 April 2015

Tips for Adult Caregivers

For the past few years, my husband’s grandfather has been living in a house trailer on my in-laws’ property. My mother-in-law tirelessly and selflessly cares for her father on a daily basis. I’ve often watched the loving and respectful way she treats her father who has both poor physical and mental health. While I admire the way that she handles her situation, I worry that she doesn’t take enough time for herself. I fear that she will become exhausted and unable to tend to her daily duties if she doesn’t slow down some. On this blog, you will learn some tips to stay energized and refreshed while attending to your adult loved one’s needs.