Talking with your family about cremation services in Cleveland, OH will, undoubtedly, be a very difficult conversation. People, in general, are reluctant to talk about death. Talking about death brings not only your mortality into focus but also their own mortality into focus.
In American society, we do everything in our power to avoid facing the inevitable end – death – that we will each come to. Many people, in an effort to cheat death or prolong life, will pursue any and every means of staying alive, no matter what they sacrifice in terms of quality of life.
However, no matter what we do to try to get a few more breaths, eventually, the end – our deaths – will happen. It’s important to plan for this and to make sure that our families know our plans and know that we’ve taken care of the details so that they can grieve and mourn us without extra stress and worry about our final dispositions.
Before you discuss cremation services with your family, you need to have a clear picture of what you want. Cremation services provided by the funeral home include cremations, urns, funeral services or memorial services, among other things.
You’ve decided you want to be cremated. After you decide who your funeral home representative will be, you’ve got a lot of questions to answer.
Do you want a viewing or visitation before you’re cremated? Do you want a funeral service before you’re cremated? If you want a funeral service, what do you want to be included? Who should officiate? What music, readings, and spiritual comfort do you want to be included?
Do you want a memorial service after you’re cremated? What should the memorial service consist of? Where should it be? Who should officiate it? Who should attend (will it be public or private?)?
Do you want your cremation remains stored in an urn? What kind of urn do you want? Do you want some of your cremation remains scattered? Where should they be scattered?
If you choose to have your cremation remains stored in an urn, do you want the urn buried in a cemetery or do you want to be inurned in a columbarium niche?
Are you entitled to funeral military honors? Do you know where your military discharge papers (DD-214) are? Do you want military honors at your funeral or memorial service?
Once you have these details worked out, type it up and store a copy of these instructions with your important papers and print out copies for your family discussion.
The next step is having a conversation with your family. One thing that may surprise you about this conversation is how emotionally charged it may be. Some family members may be adamantly opposed to you being cremated. Some family members may disagree with what you want to be done with your cremation remains. Some family members may be upset that they were not chosen to be your funeral home representative. Some family members may just be so uncomfortable talking about death that they are weepy or angry.
It’s important for you to reassure everybody that you’re having this discussion – and you’ve done this planning – for their benefit when you die. Acknowledge the emotions, but address the concerns behind them. The more you can rationally explain your cremation services planning, the easier it will be to defuse the emotional intensity of the conversation.