The world is changing and blended families are now the norm. Ex-partners, step parents and some other more complex relationships can cause confusion when it comes to arranging a funeral. Making the best choice for the eulogy, type of funeral and even the funeral music can cause arguments and further the divide between the family.
Planning a funeral can be demanding enough when you’re dealing with the grief from losing a loved one, but when family disputes and end-of-life debates are involved, the process can be even more difficult. This is the time when the emotions of multiple people are high, so we’ve put together some tips to help you make the most of this situation.
Some people are more difficult to deal with in general, and they probably won’t be any different when dealing with end-of-life issues. Plan beforehand how to deal with such a person, and try to stay calm and focused during family conversations about the funeral.
If someone is interfering with the process, consider asking them to put their feelings in writing so you can properly take their thoughts into account in a measured way.
From time-to-time, people will want to attend the funeral or cremation service, even if you didn’t expect them to. You may even doubt their sadness, but try to push this aside and remember that everyone is suffering right now.
For example, your husband’s ex-wife may no longer have a relationship with your husband. However, if he were to die, it’s likely that old emotions would resurface and she may want to honour their relationship and say goodbye. There’s no “right way” to behave here, and each family is different. If you feel the ex-wife’s presence may upset certain people, it’s understandable that you wouldn’t want her to attend. However, if she wants to show her condolences and you don’t anticipate disruption, consider inviting her.
Complex or blended families often have conflicting conversations about how to arrange a funeral, but many arguments can be avoided by collecting information about the wishes of the person that recently passed.
If they have already expressed their wishes about their funeral arrangements, honour them as much as you can. Did they want to be buried or cremated? Which city did they love or always want to visit? Try to make the goodbye unique to them – from the eulogies to the place you bury or scatter their ashes. Of course, it’s important that everyone in the family is open and explicit about their own desires for anything else, so you’re not left feeling unheard once the day of the funeral arrives.
We understand the complexities of family circumstances, and we’ll work closely with you to offer the funeral service you wish for, to properly honour the life of your family member. We welcome you to Contact us. Day or night, we’re there for you.