Talking with Your Parents About Death

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Before cremations, which are among the cremation services offered in Dayton, OH, the biggest issue each of us may face is how to bring up the subject of death – ours or theirs – with our closest family members, including our parents.

Americans love to joke about death – with people who aren’t emotionally close. We do it all the time, but our jokes take the approach that death is something far off and perhaps impossible, so we can make light of it because it’s unlikely to come to us.

However, the old adage about the only sure things in life being taxes and death is true. And while someday in the far future, taxes may disappear, death will not as long as we inhabit the human realm.

So, it’s important that we talk with those we love about death. As our parents age, it’s even more important that we talk to them about the end of their lives and what they want, in terms of health care and for their funerals.

We may find, even if our parents are in good health and going strong, that they are reluctant to talk about the end of their lives. They may say that they’ll be prepared when the time comes, but that they simply don’t want to discuss any of that morbid stuff right now.

One of the ways that we can counter this reasoning is explaining to our parents that we want what’s best for them and we want to make sure that they are in complete control of how their lives end and what comes after their lives end.

For most people, this is a compelling argument, because no one likes to think about anything in their lives being beyond their control. This is especially important at the end of life, when we all may be in a position where we can no longer speak for ourselves, and we have to rely on someone that we have appointed as our health care proxy to speak for us.

If we haven’t specified how we want the end of our lives managed and what we want done after we die, then our health care proxies will have to make the decisions they think are best and they may not be what we wanted.

The first thing we should ask our parents is whether they have advance directives that specify who they want to make medical decisions for them if they are unable to make them themselves. If they have, then the next part of that conversation should be about making sure that the person who is designated as the health care proxy knows they are the health care proxy.

It’s common for spouses to make each other their health care proxies. While this a decision that makes sense, it’s important to make sure our parents remember that this might not be possible, and they need to make sure they have an alternate named.

Whoever is the health care proxy needs to have current and complete medical information, including full medical history, current medications and dosages, and any existing health issues.

Additionally, we need to make sure our parents having a living will in place, a will or revocable trust that is current, and we need to know what they want for their funeral and final disposition.

For information about cremation services offered in Dayton, OH, our caring and knowledgeable staff at Glickler Funeral Home & Cremation Service is here to assist you. You can visit our funeral home at 1849 Salem Ave., Dayton, OH 45406, or you can call us today at (937) 278-4287.

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