Cremation is at an all-time high in popularity. In fact, its rapidly growing popularity is one of the most drastic changes in the funeral industry in many years. The Smithsonian reports that just over half of Americans are now choosing cremation over traditional burial methods. If you have decided that cremation is the right choice for you, talking to your loved ones about this decision is important. Follow these tips for discussing a preference for cremation with your family.
Ask About How Your Loved Ones Feel
One of the most effective ways to be heard is to first listen. You may start the conversation about cremation by asking your closest family members what they think about it. Although you might have an idea of how someone views cremation, asking directly before expressing your preference can give you a better idea of where the person currently stands on the issue.
When you are open to listening to their views on cremation first, they may be more receptive to hearing you out. Some questions you may use to jumpstart the conversation include:
- How open are you to the idea of cremation?
- Can you share your views on cremation with me?
- How do you think cremation fits into the burial traditions of (their religion)?
- Can you tell me what you think is good and bad about cremation?
Once the conversation about funeral home cremation is started, it will be easier to express your own wishes.
Know Your Objective
Before you engage in a conversation about cremation, be clear on what you want to get out of the discussion. If you only want to bring up the topic for your loved ones to consider, how you proceed may be much different than in a more serious talk. Knowing your objective can help you guide the conversation in the right direction.
Make a List of Your Reasons
Before you engage your loved ones in a conversation about your final wishes, be sure about what you want. Make the decision about whether or not you want to be cremated someday before you discuss it with your loved ones. If you're not sure, it's okay to say that, too. If you know you want to be cremated, however, you need to be very clear about this choice and be ready to explain your reasons why.
Create a written list, then look it over several times so you can discuss those reasons with clarity. You may even opt to bring your written list of reasons with you when you engage in discussions about cremation. That can help if you feel cornered or have a hard time getting your family to accept your decision.
Finally, having any discussion that involves death even peripherally can be difficult for some people. Try to be patient with loved ones who may not want to engage in discussions about cremation, but don't compromise on what you really want. Be sure to establish your final wishes with the funeral home and a person you trust to ensure that your wishes will someday be honored.