You talk about everything. You share the big events and small victories. But there’s one conversation you probably haven’t had: it’s time to have the talk about how you want to be remembered. It can make the difference of a lifetime.
Sharing stories with those who matter most isn’t just important today; it will be especially significant when it’s time to commemorate a life. Have the Talk of a Lifetime encourages families to have conversations about life and what matters most. These discussions can help families make important decisions about how they wish to remember and honor the lives of their loved ones.
Through meaningful memorialization — that is, taking time to reflect on the unique life of a loved one and remember the difference they made — families and friends take an important step in the journey toward healing after death. Today, individuals and their families have more options for memorializing their loved one at the end of life.
Memorialization is so much more than it used to be. It can reflect a person’s life story, their values, interests, and experiences. It is transformative, healing, and comforting. Meaningful memorialization planning starts when loved ones talk about what matters most: memories made, lessons learned, and how they hope to be remembered.
Have the Talk of a Lifetime™ is designed to help families talk about what matters most in their lives and how loved ones have made a difference. These discussions can help families make important decisions about how they wish to remember and honor the lives of their loved ones with memorialization services in the future.
Deep down, most of us want to know that we, in some way, made a difference in this world. Having the Talk of a Lifetime can make the difference of a lifetime. It can help reacquaint us with our loved ones and help us get to know them in a new and different way.
Sitting down with your loved ones to talk about their lives can be rich and satisfying. Learning about memorable events and people, places and favorite activities, values and lessons they have learned can help bring us closer to those we care about most. The talk helps us reaffirm to our loved ones how much they have impacted our life.
You can have the talk of a lifetime with anyone you hold dear – your parents, children, grandparents, aunts and uncles, a spouse or a friend. It can happen anywhere you and your loved one are most comfortable – over a meal, at home, on a walk, while playing a game. The talk can be between you and your loved one, or you could include others, like family or friends. Your conversation can take place at any time, not just at the end of life.
Sometimes, using a visual prompt, such as a photo album, souvenir, or memento, can be a great way to start a conversation. Memorable occasions, such as the church where your loved one was married or a favorite park can also help someone begin to open up and share their story. Memorialization planning is about becoming reacquainted with the life and memories of a loved one.
You could share a memory about a vacation you took together and will always remember, a piece of advice that you cherish, a song that reminds you of them or the ways you will never forget them. You may wish to take notes during or after your conversation, or make an audio recording. You should choose whatever method seems most appropriate and comfortable given the setting of your conversation.
Some questions you could ask to start the talk are:
Having The Talk does not have to be a one-time occurrence. Rather, think of it as beginning a dialogue during which you can openly talk about a number of things – from reflecting on the past to planning for the future.
The things you discuss may also be helpful when you must make important decisions in the future about how you wish to remember and honor your loved ones. If you record your loved one's answers in a notebook, this information can be very helpful to your funeral director and minister in personalizing a funeral or memorial service.
The desire for simplicity with regards to one’s own final arrangements is very common. Recognizing our loved ones’ fundamental need to remember, honor and celebrate our life and achievements is the key to understanding why the talk is extremely important.
Our loved ones need to understand about all of our lives and especially how we want to be remembered. Ultimately, their final tribute to us allows them to begin their grief journey. In a way, the talk is the most unselfish gift we can give to those we love.
Memorialization fills a vital role for those mourning the loss of a loved one and encompasses all aspects of honoring a life that has been lived. Memorialization services, visitation, placement in a cemetery, creating a memorial marker or monument, and any other means of paying tribute to our loved ones are all considered to be part of the process of memorialization and are vitally important. By providing surviving family members and friends a caring, supportive environment in which to share thoughts and feelings about the death, memorials are the first step in the healing process.
Individuals and their families have more options than ever for memorializing their loved one at the end of life. From simple to very elaborate, there are a variety of ways a family can honor their loved one in a personal and meaningful way.
In addition, the ritual of attending a memorial service provides many benefits:
Whether there is an immediate need due to the loss of a loved one or if you are planning in advance, your local funeral director can provide information to get you started. The average person makes funeral arrangements only once or twice in their lifetime.
It is natural to feel overwhelmed or perhaps have a fear of the unknown. A funeral director is familiar with the laws of your state as they pertain to your loved one’s arrangements and will help take care of all necessary details. They will contact all interested parties on your behalf, obtain all required permits, file the death certificate and guide you through the decision making process as it relates to services and funeral merchandise.
Through compassionate education and guidance, we will help you make informed choices and enable you to arrange a tribute for your loved one that is fitting and appropriate.
We are happy to visit with you anytime, day or night, about the personalization and memorialization options that we offer to the families we serve. Please don't hesitate to call on us to visit more.
Sitting down with loved ones to talk about their lives can be a rich and satisfying experience. Learning about memorable events, people, places, values and lessons they have learned can help bring you closer to the people you care about. It’s called having the talk of a lifetime and this deck of 50 conversation starter cards can help you do it!
Some of the following questions are included in the deck:
If you'd like to participate in the Talk of a Lifetime card game, email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get a deck right out to you!