Conversations change around death, dying and funeral planning: ‘It’s not going to bring on your demise any sooner’

Click to play video: 'The way Canadians approach funerals is changing'
The way Canadians approach funerals is changing
WATCH ABOVE: The way Canadians looks at death and dying is changing and as Quinn Ohler reports, so is the way we look at funerals. – Dec 17, 2019

Conversations around death and dying are changing, and those in the funeral industry say it’s the baby boomer population leading the charge.

“You used to just have four funeral homes and you could choose between one or two things, [and] everybody charged basically the same thing,” says Brandy Rollins, family service manager at Trinity Funeral Homes.

“I think the baby boomer generation said, ‘This doesn’t really work anymore.'”

Many people are looking for more options in every aspect of funeral planning from cost, to service options and final dispositions.

READ MORE:‘Getting through’ the holidays while suffering the loss of a loved one

You are now able to personalize every aspect of your service to include what is most important to you. There’s also several options when it comes to how to dispose of your body from a traditional burial, from casket and concrete linings placed in the ground to cremation.

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There’s also a movement in support of what’s called green burials, which don’t use concrete liners or embalming. Bodies are placed in a biodegradable shroud or casket.

Because there are so many options, Rollins says it is imperative that people have conversations with their loved ones about exactly what they want.

“If you don’t know what is important to the person that you are ultimately responsible for, it’s a burden to decide that,” she says.

Rollins suggests pre-planning your funeral to make it easier on your family.

“It’s a very loving act [and] it’s a very kind act,” Rollins says. “Some would argue it’s the last act of kindness you can provide.”

There’s also a push to get more people talking about their own deaths, not just for pre-planning reasons.

Death Cafes are being held around the world. The creators of the pop-up events state on their website, Death Cafes are meant to “make the most of our finite lives.”

READ MORE: Death Café offers an open environment for Winnipeggers to talk about death, grieving

“It’s just an aspect of life,” says Gina Vliet who has hosted Death Cafes in Edmonton.

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Vliet is a member The Order of the Good Death, which encourages “staring down your death fears.” She is also an advocate for death positivity.

“Our culture is focused on living and prolonging life,” Vliet says. “I think acknowledging mortality is something people come to very organically.”

Vliet encourages people to get over the “cultural taboo” of not wanting to talk about death and dying. She is an end-of-life planning consultant who helps people plan for the final stage of life .

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Vliet says that planning for your death and talking about it gives you more freedom and energy to enjoy life.

“It’s not going to bring on your demise any sooner,” Vliet says.

Both experts agree that talking about your death or the death of a loved one is a very loving act for your family, even though it can sometimes be uncomfortable.

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