Talking to Your Loved Ones About Your Burial and Cremation Preferences
Thoughts of one’s own death are virtually inevitable. When a loved one passes or someone you know is diagnosed with a terminal illness, you might start to think what might happen after your own death. Visiting a cemetery to pre-plan your own arrangements is a wise decision that relieves your family of the burden of making difficult choices. To ensure that your wishes will be carried out after your death, your family will need to know about your preferences.
Use an Icebreaker
It isn’t necessary to wait to discuss this issue with your family until you’ve finalized your arrangements. If you already know whether you prefer to be buried or cremated, you might mention this in an off-hand manner. This gives you plenty of time to think about the details of your arrangements. Wait for an appropriate icebreaker to come along. You might see something on TV about funerals, for example, and say to your partner, “By the way, if I die first, I’d rather be buried than cremated.”
Create a Written Plan
When you are ready to commit your preferences to paper, visit a cemetery and discuss these burial or cremation arrangements with a memorial counselor. After you’ve finalized the details, make a few copies of your funeral plan. One of these copies should be safely stored with your will or living trust, but you might use another copy to guide your discussion with your family.
Start the conversation by reassuring your loved ones that you aren’t ill and don’t wish to alarm them, but you feel that the time is right to discuss your funeral preferences. Of course, if you are indeed ill and your family is aware of your illness, you might instead offer reassurances that you still intend to fight your disease.
The memorial counselors at Inglewood Park Cemetery would be honored to help you plan your cemetery or cremation service in the Los Angeles area. Our comprehensive burial and cremation pre-planning services include a thorough explanation of all of your memorial options—from simple grave markers to stylized family monuments. Call us at (310) 412-6500 to get started.