Talking to Your Family About Your Wish for Cremation

Making sure that your family knows your final wishes isn’t just important for you. It also helps them have the peace of mind that they are honoring what you want instead of guessing and worrying that they’ve made the wrong choice. This is especially true if you want to be cremated and your family is not aware of this preference. If you plan to discuss cremation with your family, this advice will help you have a productive conversation.  

Choose the Right Time for the Conversation 

Many people don’t like discussing death with their families, and discussing your own death can be particularly challenging. Although you may hope that the conversation is short and positive, don’t try to force it to be by starting the conversation when you or your family members are in a rush. Pick a quiet time, when there are no other pressing obligations, so that there is not any additional stress. This will help everyone have a chance to ask questions and talk without pressure.  

Be Direct and Firm 

Sometimes, family members are surprised when someone announces that they want to be cremated. Sometimes, this surprise simply comes from the fact that people in your family have always chosen burial. In other instances, there may be a religious component to your family’s reaction. Although you should welcome a dialogue, be direct and firm in your decision, so your family understands that your decision is final.  

Talking About What Happens After the Cremation 

Letting your family know that you want to be cremated is one part of the conversation, but you should go further and discuss what your preferences are for your cremated remains. They may be kept in a mausoleum, columbarium, or other family estate in a cemetery of your choosing.  

Inglewood Park Cemetery is here to help families make decisions about cremation, interment spaces, and cemetery memorials. Whether you are gathering information for yourself or need to make decisions for a recently decreased family member, call our cemetery in the Los Angeles area at (310) 412-6500.

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