Dying Matters Awareness Week takes place from 10 to 16 May, and we want to raise awareness about the importance of discussing funeral wishes with loved ones – while you still can.
No one wants to feel they’ve ‘let down’ a loved one or ‘got it wrong’ when arranging their funeral – and feeling that way can be easily avoided by having a discussion now, while everyone’s fit and well. That’s why we’re inviting you to share your #FuneralWishes during Dying Matters Awareness Week.
Many people avoid talking about end of life and funeral wishes with their loved ones. But, it’s an important discussion we each need to have because, in order to honour someone’s wishes, we need to know what they are.
A recent survey by Dying Matters found that only 1 in 4 people had asked a family member about their end of life wishes. But if you know you’ll need to arrange a relative’s funeral in the future, wouldn’t it be good to know now what their wishes are – before it’s too late to ask?
Eighty percent of people say the most important thing about a funeral is to honour the wishes of the person who died. (Funerals market study, CMA, 2019) But, according to a recent survey of bereaved people in the UK, the majority of people didn’t know what their loved ones’ wishes were:
No one wants to feel they’ve ‘let down’ a loved one or ‘got it wrong’ when arranging their funeral – and feeling that way can be easily avoided by having a discussion while everyone’s fit and well.
It’s important to let your loved ones know your funeral wishes too. Otherwise how can they enact them? And, the only way those closest to you will know your funeral wishes is for you to tell them – or to make a written plan and share it with them. (If you don’t mind what happens at your funeral, let them know that you are entirely comfortable with them making all the decisions.)
How do you start a conversation about funeral wishes? If you’ve decided this is a discussion you want to have, perhaps start by thinking about your funeral wishes before having a conversation with a loved one about theirs.
Questions to consider:
When you’ve worked out the answers to these questions, you can think in more detail about the other aspects of the funeral.
By sharing your funeral wishes with a loved one, you may then find it easier to invite them to tell you theirs, especially if you have explained how simple the planning process is and how it will take away all the worry and guesswork.
Funerals in the UK are changing. Research shows:
A humanist funeral is both a celebration of life and a tribute to the person who has died. The ceremony focuses on their life, their passions, successes, and the relationships they forged. Each ceremony is as unique as the person it celebrates.
We have celebrants in England, Wales, Northern Ireland, and the Channel Isles who can help you plan your own celebration of life. You can speak with a celebrant before or after discussing your funeral wishes with those closest to you.
A humanist funeral ceremony is a celebration of life and a personal goodbye.
We're all different and our funerals should be too. Find interesting ways to create a unique ceremony.
Your humanist celebrant will write a unique script to honour the life of your loved one.