Let’s talk about funerals

Let’s talk about……funerals.

It is, for most people, a tricky subject because it necessarily involves giving serious thought to your own mortality. There is also the, perfectly natural, concern that discussing death can be distressing for friends and family. At funeral magazine we believe it’s time to change our thinking. If we can talk openly about death it becomes demystified, less frightening and more widely acceptable as a topic of conversation. We’re all happy to talk about the birth of our children – what pain relief we had, hospital or home birth, who was there. If you apply the same questions in relation to death it’s likely be a pretty short chat!

fmRecent studies show that only around 11% of people in the UK have planned what they want to happen after they die.

Sadly, this is the case for most of us. The subject of death and funerals doesn’t arise until it becomes necessary in old age, ill health or terminal illness. Doesn’t it make more sense to have the conversation when we are in good health? The subject is much easier to deal with when it’s not pressing or imminent but an abstract event in the distant future?

If you really find broaching the subject with loved ones difficult write some thoughts down first. Make a list of ideas and it will give a focus to the conversation which, otherwise, may take a little while to flow.  Keep it light and chatty and others are much more likely to engage. Choosing the songs you would like played to be played at your funeral is a fairly easy topic to start with and it’s one that most people have an opinion on. Generate the conversation, ask questions – What do you think about this?….Do you have any ideas about that? Although it is important that your wishes are fulfilled it’s good to have the family feel included and involved. It’s peace of mind for everyone – you get the goodbye you want and your family will take comfort from that.

A bit of research might be helpful to make sure what you want is achievable. It may not be possible to have your ashes fired out by a cannon at an FA cup final even if that is really what you want! But you will be able to find something similar that is viable.

We are getting better, as a nation, at talking about death. The growth of the number of Death Cafe’s over the last few years shows that we are slowly getting to grips with the subject. If you are not familiar with the idea it’s basically are an opportunity for people to get together, in a cafe setting, and have an informal discussion about death.

So, whether it’s in the pub over a pint with friend or a tea and biscuits with the family, let’s start talking about death and funerals.

Dead Good Job. Episode 1 of 3
Following a Muslim funeral company attempts to bury the dead as quickly as possible in accordance with Islamic tradition, a terminally ill mother of two who chooses to plan and arrange her own funeral and a high speed send off for a biker who gets his wish of a final ride in a motorcycle hearse.