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How to start that big conversation…

Talking about dying, for many of us, is not the easiest thing to do. It may be hard to talk about, but it could be one of the most important conversations you will ever have.

– Starting the conversation is the hardest part. Make sure that you’re in a comfortable place and you have plenty of time to cover what you wish to talk about. Be honest from the start, try telling the other person why it is important to you that you have this conversation.

– Often, some people wait until the death of a close friend or relative or something in the news to prompt them into talking about their own personal wishes. You can use these scenarios to start the conversation by sharing your opinion on the matter. It’s an unreliable way to get the conversation started, so don’t use this as your only way of sharing your wishes.

– Raise the subject directly and make it clear what you would like to discuss. Once the initial awkwardness of the conversation is out of the way, you will more than likely feel relieved to have got it off your chest. You only need to note it down once, and then it’s done. Your family will have peace of mind that you will be getting the care that you want.

– It can reduce resistance towards the conversation if you ease your way into it. If the direct approach doesn’t feel comfortable to you, you could try starting with “I know talking about these things is never easy…” or maybe with a question “Do you think we ought to talk about…?”.

– If the other person doesn’t want to talk about the subject, there are other ways in which you can make your wishes known. There are many different platforms in which you can leave your wishes for your loved ones to access when needed. We have our own “My Funeral Wishes” booklet where you can write down all the details of your funeral. You can write as much or as little as you like. If you would like to go that little bit extra for your family, why not take out a Pre-Paid Funeral plan, taking care of the finances and the decisions. For more information on the services we provide, either visit our website of give us a call.

– During the conversation, you might get distracted, so why not write all you have to say down before hand to make sure you get to say your piece before the conversation ends. These conversations are bound to get emotional, if you feel like the emotions are becoming overwhelming, take a break before continuing.

– After the conversation ends, it’s a good idea to reassure the person you were talking to that just because you raised the conversation, doesn’t mean that you are going to die tomorrow, and you just want to be prepared.

– Listen to the other person. While this is your conversation, they may have important questions that you may have not thought of. By including them in the discussion, they are more likely to take what you said onboard.

If you find physically speaking to someone about the subject too difficult, why not try writing them a letter or filling out one of our My Funeral Wishes booklet. You can request a booklet via our website on the homepage, or even print your own version at home. Our Dying Matters later life planning event is being held on Friday 18th May at The Quad, Derby between 10:30am-2:30pm. For more information, please visit our events page.