The difficult conversation about death

Couple conversing on a wooden bench

The difficult conversation about death

Talking about the inevitable is a scary thing for some people. The difficult conversation about death gets pushed to another time, another day then another year. Then before you know it, you are having that conversation with the funeral director instead of the person you had meant it for.

People don’t want to die. People very rarely even think about their own death. Even our older generations are avoiding the topic or making statements like “Just dig a hole and throw me in”. We don’t think they really mean it, it is just a tactic to avoid the difficult conversation about death and making decisions regarding their funeral. While many cultures dictate a traditional type of funeral service and burial rite ceremonies, adding personalization to the funeral service is an important part of honoring who has died.

How you approach this conversation is up to you and the person you need to have the conversation with. Whether to take the direct approach or a subtler method is really up to each individual circumstance.

Here are some tips on what the conversation needs to include:


  1. Is there to be a traditional church service with burial to follow? Or will there be a simpler small ceremony.
  2. Is embalming important? (it is not a law, aside from certain circumstances)
  3. If cremation is preferred, who will get the urn? Or will it go into a niche or buried in the earth?
  4. Which family members or friends should be notified first?
  5. Who would be officiating and speaking? Clergy, family?
  6. How will the funeral be paid for? Insurance, cash?


These are all important questions to start the difficult conversation about death. Don’t be afraid to bring up the topic, it is important for you and your loved ones to settle these decisions now.

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