- upset them (or upset us)
- make it happen faster
- make it more "real"
- make them think we are waiting for their death
Robby and I talked about our wishes, but (unfortunately) never in a very serious way. Robby always joked that he wanted a black gospel choir to sing at his funeral. He loved gospel music and grew up playing bluegrass and gospel, so it was an obvious choice for him. Unfortunately we don't have any all-black churches or gospel choirs in the area. But my daughter did find a recording of a gospel singer, Sister Rosetta Tharpe singing "Peace In The Valley." We played it at Robby's service.
Knowing what kind of care your loved one wishes can make their passing much easier - for them and for you. We (my daughters and I) were able to plan a memorial service that we knew would make Robby proud, from the music to the Marine Honor Guard to the BBQ and beer we offered at the get-together after the service. We could picture him, watching the whole thing from heaven, smiling and laughing as we told stories and shared memories of him and all that he loved.
If you are wondering where to start, check out The Conversation Project. Here you can find a starter kit that will help to break the ice, and make your discussion much easier. You can also see what others have said about their final wishes.
It's never too soon to have a talk like this. And it doesn't have to be a "grim reaper" talk. Having these talks around the kitchen table, before the doctor's office or the emergency room, lessens stress for everyone.
What is something you would like to tell your family about your final wishes?