The word hospice invokes a feeling of finality. Every treatment has been tried, and there is nothing else the doctors can do. Thankfully, hospice programs are widely known to be very positive in providing an improvement in the quality of life for those suffering from terminal illnesses.
Hospice does not mean that death is imminent. However, it does mean that the person suffering likely has six months or less to live. This situation often causes people to face their own mortality and discuss final plans. Of course, there is no pressure to plan one’s funeral. However, the time in hospice can be a patient-led time to discuss their memorial service.
We would encourage you to patiently look for opportunities to ask your loved one the following questions:
1. What have been the highlights of your life?
2. How do you want people to remember you?
3. Is there anything special you would like for us to include in your memorial service?
If your loved one is not ready to talk, do not pressure them. There will probably be a time when they will feel comfortable talking, and you will be ready for that moment. These three simple questions can spark rich and precious conversations with your loved one. It may not hurt to ask if you can record what they say and take notes. It will likely offer comfort and assurance of your love when you want to honor their wishes.
Other questions you may want to ask your loved one include the following:
1. What local funeral home do you prefer?
2. Do you prefer burial or cremation?
3. Who do you want to be invited to your service?
4. Is there anything specifically that you want mentioned in your obituary? Would you like to help write it?
5. What music would you like to have at your service?
6. What would you like to do with your personal belongings?
7. Who would you like to take care of your pet?
8. Do you have any special requests regarding a casket or an urn?
9. Who do you want to speak at your funeral?
10. What type of reception do you want before or after the funeral?
11. Is there anything specific that you want to be shared with the funeral attendees?
12. Do you have any special request regarding your funeral keepsake folder?
We recommend that you follow the lead of your loved one. Have a pen and paper nearby, and always be sensitive to their needs above all else. Often, a person who is dying finds solace and relief when their loved ones care about their last wishes. And, these discussions can lead to the remembrance of pleasant memories and memorable conversations.
Feel free to contact us if you and your loved one need help with planning and preparing for their memorial service. We want to be there in every way possible for your family, to help honor your loved one in the best way possible. Please check out our website or call us at 1-508-673-0781.