Have you decided to choose cremation as your end of life arrangement choice? The next step is to share your wishes with your loved ones. Here are our best tips for talking to your family about cremation.
Decided that you’d prefer cremation over other end of life options? Cremations have become a popular end of life choice for many. By the end of 2021 cremations were forecast to be 75.5% nationally in Canada, with Ontario and Saskatchewan at 70% each, and Nova Scotia at 81.8%. (Data according to the 2021 National Funeral Directors Aassociation Cremation & Burial Report Published July 2021.)
Many funeral and cremation service providers such as Eirene can help work with you on how to pre-plan so you can take the burden off your family when the time comes. However, you should take the time to discuss your choice of cremation with your family in advance of any situation.
Having healthy, open discussions around your preferences will help you ensure that when the time comes, that your wishes are met. Here are our tips that will help you share your end of life arrangements with your family.
Consider why you want to be cremated in advance of talking with your family.
Sharing with your family shouldn’t be challenging, especially if you take the time to understand your own choices and motivations. By letting your loved ones know that you have chosen to be cremated when you pass, there is a good chance they could not understand why. Primarily if your family has traditionally used other methods, such as traditional burial, it may be difficult for them to know why you have chosen one over the other. Be prepared to share the reasoning behind your choice. By understanding why you’ve made the choice you have could help you navigate a tough conversation.
Be as open and transparent when explaining your choice.
Once you feel ready to have a conversation and understand your choice fully to be cremated, it’s time to share with your family. Schedule a time to sit down and talk to them about cremation. When the time comes, let them know, in no uncertain terms, that you have spent a lot of time considering and weighing out your options. Sharing honestly and clearly about why you have chosen the end of life arrangements that you have will help them understand your perspective if they have trouble coming to terms with it.
Cremation can be a serious and challenging topic to broach, depending on tradition and family beliefs. Make sure that you take the space you need following the conversation.
Prepare for any outcome
Some family members may be surprised, unhappy or disappointed by your decision to be cremated. In many instances, families are very supportive of their loved ones’ choices for their end-of-life arrangements. In other cases, families could be surprised and disappointed.
In the best case, your family will understand and respect whatever you choose. In the worst case, they may question you and be unhappy after the fact. Hopefully, it will go smoothly, but either way, be prepared for both scenarios.
Be open to discussing the choice and any questions about cremation
Staying open through the whole process is vital. Beyond asking you why you have decided to be cremated, your loved ones may have questions about cremation in general. Especially if your family has never experienced it before, it cannot be evident and shrouded in mystery. If you are also unclear on the cremation process, make sure to check out our blog on how cremation works from start to finish.
By giving yourself and your loved one’s information, you may be able to quell any fears or uncertainties they have about the process and help them feel confident that you have done your research.