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When I die, I just want you to …

Published: March 6, 2020

Adult children of parents of a certain age frequently find themselves caught off guard by parents who want to share their do’s and don’ts about their funeral service. It’s just natural to want to share thoughts on one’s final wishes. Most families appreciate the guidance. However, something this important really should be written and on file at the funeral home.

Consistency is crucial. A series of “in the moment” comments to various children at different times, almost always leads to each child having at least a slightly different page at a time when they really need to work together.

Those off hand missives are very frequently made without consideration of the mourners. Telling children, you don’t want to be viewed after death may mean that a dear granddaughter who lives far away misses out on the opportunity to say “good-bye” in a way that would have helped her. So, before telling your children what you would like for your funeral service consider asking them what they would like to do for you. It’s also for the family that is left behind.

Enlisting the help of a funeral director or advance planner is very helpful and not at all difficult. Nearly all funeral homes have dedicated staff to help people plan funerals in advance. Parents and children can come together for the planning meeting and ensure everyone is on the same page. This service is typically provided by the funeral home at no charge and can provide peace of mind for the whole family. 

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