Have the Talk of a Lifetime

 

Life. There’s a Lot to Talk About.

You talk about everything. You share the big events and small victories. But there’s one conversation you probably haven’t had: it’s time to have the talk about what matters most to you in life and how you want to be remembered. It can make the difference of a lifetime.

Sharing stories with those you love isn’t just important today; it will be especially significant when it’s time to commemorate a life. Have the Talk of a Lifetime encourages families to have conversations about life and what matters most. These discussions can help families make important decisions about how they wish to remember and honor the lives of their loved ones.

Having the talk of a lifetime can make the difference of a lifetime. It can help reacquaint us with our loved ones and help us get to know them in a new and different way.

You Mattered.

Deep down, most of us want to know that we, in some way, made a difference in this world — that we mattered to someone, and that after we die, we will be fondly remembered by those who knew and cared for us.

Through meaningful memorialization — that is, taking time to reflect on the unique life of a loved one and remember the difference they made — families and friends take an important step in the journey toward healing after death.  Today, individuals and their families have more options for memorializing their loved one at the end of life.

Memorialization is so much more than it used to be. It can reflect a person’s life story, their values, interests, and experiences. It is transformative, healing, and comforting. Meaningful memorialization planning starts when loved ones talk about what matters most: memories made, lessons learned, and how they hope to be remembered.

Some of the following questions can help when planning a funeral or memorial service:

  • What is your proudest achievement?
  • What was the one piece of advice you received from your parents or grandparents that you never forgot?
  • Tell me about the most memorable summer you had growing up.
  • Tell me about your favorite teacher; what did you learn from him or her?

Make the Difference of a Lifetime.

You can have the talk of a lifetime with anyone you hold dear — your parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, a spouse. It can happen anywhere you and your loved one are most comfortable — over a meal, at home, on a walk, while playing a game. The talk can be between you and your loved one, or you could include others, like family or friends. Your conversation can take place at any time — not just at the end of life.

Finding a way to start talking with a loved one may be the most difficult part; however, we might find that once the conversation starts, it may be hard to stop.  Sometimes, using a visual prompt, such as a photo album, souvenir, or memento, can be a great way to start a conversation. Memorable places, such as the church where your loved one was married or a favorite park can also help someone begin to open up and share their story.  You could also share a memory about a vacation you took together and will always remember, a piece of advice that you cherish, a song that reminds you of them or the ways you will never forget them.

Plan Ahead.

Many times people find that after they have theses conversations, they would like to go ahead and meet with a funeral director to plan a personalized memorial service. In a way, planning a personalized memorial service or celebration is the most unselfish gift we can give to those we love.  Click here to learn more about advance planning.