For most of your life, your parents have been there to help and nurture you, to love and support you, but as they get older these roles tend to reverse. This is when you have the opportunity to help and steer them in the right direction when it comes to ensuring that their final years are comfortable and well planned out.
One of the first planning choices you can help with would be to assist your parents in documenting all their funeral preferences. This vital step helps cut down on any confusion and uncertainty when the sad day inevitably comes around. You will undoubtedly be dealing with the pain and grief of your loss, so having this part all recorded ensures that you can easily proceed with their specified wishes.
Apart from all the family history information that needs to be gathered, your parents can also choose exactly what they would like, such as a nice funeral location, their choice of music, their favourite flowers, and even coffins and hearses, and of course, whether they would prefer cremation or burial. These are things that you don’t want to be making last-minute decisions on if you have forgotten to ask.
Another good question to ask your parents is who they would like you to notify of their passing. Obviously, there will be family and friends but If they served in the armed forces or public service, there could well be old colleagues to reach out to and if they belonged to any local clubs, there might be fellow members there that would love to pay their respects. There is nothing worse than hearing of an old friend’s passing and not having had the opportunity to pay your respects and to attend the service to say your final farewells.
Ask them about their greatest achievements, their fondest memories, their proudest moments, and their funniest encounters as these all make wonderful stories for the service. Believe me, there is nothing better than having your life story told well. And remember, the more you can ask of your parents beforehand, the better prepared you will be to ensure that they get a truly memorable funeral, that includes all of their wants and wishes.
Nowadays funerals can be tailored specifically to your wishes; there is no standard or fixed formats that need to be adhered to. In fact, the funeral can be a very intimate decision, so your help in making it happen the way they want, is an incredibly loving and rewarding thing to do.
Undoubtedly, your parents will feel grateful that you have given them the opportunity to be included in the planning of such an important day, and they will be able to rest assured that everything is taken care of, giving the family the peace of mind they deserve.
If you think it’s time to have ‘the talk’ give us a call before you do so that we can send you a free copy of our Funeral Planning Guide. This guide contains everything you need to know about planning, and it includes some simple forms that can be used to make a note of their funeral wishes. In addition, the guide contains several informative sections, including the advantages of pre-paying to ensure that your parents get their funerals at today’s rates. Although not essential, it is great advice and helps everyone in the family.
We also have a downloadable version on our website at www.alexgowfunerals.com.au/funeral-pre-planning/
If you have any questions, feel free to call one of our experienced funeral planning experts at Alex Gow Funerals on (07) 3851 7800. We look forward to helping you.