by CanTeen07/12/2018

How to discuss what I want at my funeral with my family

Planning your own funeral can be difficult, but many people find it comforting to be able to tell their family and friends what they want. It can be one less stress for your family if they know exactly what you would like. And it can be satisfying to involve your family in the planning and know you’ve left your mark on the occasion. 

Discussing your funeral with your family 

Talking about your funeral can be harder for your family members than it is for you. Pick a time and place where everyone can feel comfortable and you won’t be interrupted. It might be just a discussion about what you’d like your funeral to be like, or you can have a funeral director help you plan it and record the details. 

As much as you might want everyone to be involved, understand if your child doesn’t want to be. If they can’t talk about it, you could ask them to email or text you their ideas or how they want to be involved in the funeral. They might like to help choose the music, put together photos, or read a letter or poem at the funeral. 

Things to think about 

A funeral is a very personal occasion. There is no ‘right’ way to do it.  

Some things you may want to consider and include in your funeral plan: 

  • whether you want a burial or cremation  
  • where the service will be – it could be at the beach or in your backyard 
  • who you would like as pallbearers 
  • whether you want to have a religious service or not  
  • who will lead it, and who’s going to speak at the service 
  • whether you want specific songs played or things read out  
  • whether you want flowers  
  • whether you want donations given to specific charities  
  • what clothes you want to wear. 

Think of it as an opportunity for your family and friends to show your life mattered to them, to remember and celebrate your life. 

Useful sites/resources 

Cancer Council’s “Facing end of life” booklet includes some advice about planning your funeral: