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Talk of a Lifetime: Death Education and a Funeral Plan

Meaningful memorialization of a loved one’s passing can transform, heal, and comfort us. It highlights our loved ones’ sacrifices, reminds us of the things that they value, and inspires us with their life stories.

Have the Talk of a Lifetime, a program created by The Funeral and Memorial Information Council, was designed to help families have meaningful conversations about the things that matter most in their lives, such as death education. It also reminds them about the importance of having a funeral plan. These discussions can give important insights to the people that were left behind — insights that can be used to honor and remember the lives of their loved ones.

Why is having the talk of a lifetime important?

Although we might have daily conversations with our loved ones, the most meaningful and deep ones don’t always happen. Having this kind of conversation can make a huge difference — it can help us see our loved ones in a different and more positive light, it can teach us valuable lessons, it can give us a clearer picture of the things they love, it can bring us closer together, it can help us reaffirm to them how much we love them, and it can help us better understand the importance of having a funeral plan.

Who should have the talk?

We could have the talk of a lifetime with anyone we value, cherish, and love. It could be our grandparents, our parents, our siblings, our uncles and aunts, our cousins, our spouse, our children, our grandparents, or our friends. It also doesn’t have to be done only when we feel we are or someone we love is at the end of their life. Education about death and the importance of having a funeral plan are subjects that can and should be discussed while we still have time. We’ll never really know what the future holds, so let us take the opportunities we still have with them and learn more about the essence of funeral plan and death education while we still can.

How do we start the talk about life and education for death?

We shouldn’t wait for a special moment to start having these kinds of talks. After all, we never know when we’ll get another opportunity to discuss about the significance of education for death and having a funeral plan. We can do it anytime and anywhere when we and our loved ones are comfortable — at home while we’re having meals together, going out for a walk, gathering together as a family, or playing games.

We could also sometimes start with visual prompts, like a photo or an entire photo album, a memento, or a souvenir. We can open up about past experiences while we’re at a memorable place, such as a church, a favorite restaurant, or an old park. These can be great ways to start a story. Eventually, it will be easier and more natural to introduce the subject of memorial ideas and how each of you would like to be remembered and celebrated.

May we always treasure every moment of our lives and have meaningful conversations with the ones we love. In line with your continuous learning experience with the talk of a lifetime and education for death, you may also start planning ahead for the funeral of a loved one to help you prepare better for the future.

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