While the loss of a loved one often brings families together, it can also cause rifts and hurt feelings when family members feel overlooked or excluded.
There is no simple guideline to determine who should be included in the planning process because of the complex nature of families. While it’s common for the spouse and children to plan a service, not all decedents are married with children while some have so many children that it becomes burdensome during the planning process. We’ve found that these decisions are personal and driven by a number of complex factors. Here are things to consider:
- Consider the decedent’s perspective. Put personal differences aside and include those who your loved one was nearest to despite personal preference and relationships.
- Communicate with everyone. There is such as a thing as too many cooks in the kitchen when it comes to planning the celebration of life, so it may not be possible to include everybody when there are many children, grandchildren, and even great-grandchildren. In this case, be sure to communicate: “The children who are interested in participating in the planning should let us know as soon as possible. All grandchildren and great-grandchildren are welcome to share memories and ideas with those of us planning the service.” This ensures loved ones understand who is involved, why, and how to share ideas.
- Find a job for those who want to help. Helping with the service can serve as a welcome distraction for those in mourning. While not everybody can influence the obituary or the service itself, everybody can assist with food and other details. Anyone who offers help should receive a sincere thanks and a task that would alleviate some burden on the family, however small.
Navigating feelings and relationships during an already difficult time can add complexity, but the understanding team at Mountain View Funeral Home and Cemetary are here to help. Our extensive experience in situations much like yours help us provide empathetic, non-judgemental guidance to you as you work toward a peaceful service and burial.