Discussing End-of-Life Plans with Parents
Phoenix, AZ cremations may be part of the end-of-life plans for aging parents, but they haven’t discussed it with their children and their children don’t know anything about how their parents want the end of their lives to be.
This is a sensitive topic for a lot of people because most people just don’t want to talk about death. Some parents get all their ducks in a row early on with medical powers of attorney, living wills, Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) orders, wills or revocable trusts, and preplanning and prepaying (or providing burial insurance policies) their funeral arrangements with the funeral home.
Sadly, especially for their children, most parents do not take care of these things and it can cause of lot of angst when their lives are ending and after they have died. And this adds needless stress and grief to an already stressful and grief-filled process.
Bringing the subject up with parents, though, can be tricky, because parents can get defensive and think their children are trying to get rid of them, and it can cause some very unpleasant moments and words.
But there’s an approach that can create less hostility and defensive that can get parents to start thinking about how they want their end of life to look and to be.
There is no better time to broach end of life with parents than after a family member or close friend of theirs dies.
Many times, the conversation of how the person died – and whether they were kept on life support, or suffered a long time – is part of the narrative. This is a perfect time to ask parents questions about how they want to die, and whether that would be the same way the family member or close friend died or a different way.
Once parents put themselves in that situation, they can often be quite clear and non-defensive about what they want and don’t want. It’s at that point that it’s natural to ask about who would be their medical power of attorney, if they have or want a living will, if they have or want a DNR, and if they have an updated revocable trust or will. If these things need to be addressed, it’s easy at this point to suggest that there’s no time like the present to do it.
Another part of the conversation, at this time, might be about type of funeral service the family member or friend had. This is also an excellent opportunity to ask parents what kind of funeral service they want. Ask how they’d want to be remembered, what they want their obituary to say, and what the final disposition of their remains should be.
Even if parents aren’t sure about all of these things, this conversation will get them thinking about it. And some of the things that children need to know will be communicated, because people are surprisingly, when considering someone they were close to and how they died and what kind of funeral service was held for them, forthcoming and adamant about things they agreed with and things they didn’t agree with. This can give children some great insights into how parents would want things handled for themselves.
For additional guidance about starting end-of-life conversations with parents for Phoenix, AZ cremations, our compassionate and experienced team at Simply Cremation & Funeral Arrangements is here to help. You can come to our funeral home at 16952 W. Bell Rd., #303, Surprise, AZ, 85374, or you can contact us today at (623) 975-9393.