When is the right time to discuss the biggest taboo?

We are all human, we all follow the same road and we all have parents. Many of us dread the thought of our parents passing and one thing I’ve noticed as I get that little bit older is that many of my friends are slowly and sadly starting to lose their parents one by one. This has got me thinking a lot recently about that one thing that many of us keep silent, that one thing that happens to us all eventually but one that the majority of us all dread and that topic is death.

Even the thought sends a shiver through my body. I know I’m probably only half way through my life, but my parents are much older and death could literally strike within the next ten years or so. The worst thing is, I’ve never had that conversation with my parents, I’ve never spoke to them about what they would prefer for their final send off, where they would want to be buried or have their ashes scattered. I’d also have absolutely no idea how to go about planning a funeral. It seems the majority of my friends are in exactly the same position too. It’s just not something that gets discussed or spoke about, and once it happens it’s then too late.

How do we, as adults even begin to approach the subject with our parents? Did our parents talk about this with their parents? Will our children want to discuss it with us when they are grown up? It’s such a tricky subject because nobody wants to think about themselves no longer being here.

What do we do when our parents pass? Who do we call, who do we inform? How do we even begin to arrange a funeral and how do we pay for this? We will no doubt be consumed by our loss and grief when this happens and not really in any fit state of mind to be considering things like this, but who else is there to take care of it all?

Then there’s the additional financial matters. Do your parents have money/assets? Do they have a will? Who does the house go to, how do we even begin to sort this out? How much will it cost in fees etc.

Would you know what to do when someone dies? I’m not so sure I would! This useful tool by Sunlife helps to answer many questions about what you need to do and highlights a few things that many of us just would not think of.

Unfortunately death is one of the very few things that is guaranteed in this life. We never know when or where it will happen. I do hope one day to find the courage to talk to my parents about this subject and hopefully before it’s too late.

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