Nobody likes dwelling on mortality, and conversations about death tend to be "downers" - not least during the otherwise-joyful holiday season. And yet, talking candidly with your family members about end-of-life issues is imperative. And for many families, the holiday season is the best time to do it, simply because the whole family is actually together.
Consider: Should your parents pass away unexpectedly, do you know their wishes for a funeral or memorial service? Do you have a clear understanding of their desires for their estate? And should something unthinkable happen to you, will you be leaving your own kids with a clear plan - or simply with burdens?
For many families, end-of-life preparations go neglected and ignored - but simply having a conversation can be clarifying and even encouraging.
Over this holiday season, we encourage you to have "The Talk" with your family members. That doesn't necessarily mean hammering out all the issues on the spot, but it does mean getting the conversation going - encouraging everyone to think sensitively yet strategically about end-of-life issues.
Some quick tips and guidelines for starting this conversation, for keeping it positive and productive, and some brief bullet points to consider:
Don't delay in having The Talk. And don't put it off just because of the holidays. In truth, this may be the ideal time to engage your loved ones in a conversation.
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