Certain conversations are just uncomfortable to have—and the talk about death is likely first on the list. There are many reasons why we avoid discussions of death—among them:
We’re unprepared to die What will happen to your loved ones if you die tomorrow? Do you have outstanding debts or house payments that they will have to deal with? Will you be leaving them any money to address funeral and burial expenses? Often, we feel unprepared for death and frankly embarrassed to burden our loved ones with this lack of preparation. We feel guilty for asking others to do things for us Talking about death often means talking to loved ones about how they can assist us in the event of our death. This can lead to feelings of guilt.
We fear family arguments What if your funeral wishes or end-of-life decisions differ from the thoughts or beliefs of your family members? Many of us fear that discussing so important a topic can lead to rifts with the people we love.
We’re afraid to die Of course, many of us are uncomfortable with the uncertainty and the finality of death. Even those of intense religious faith may feel uncomfortable discussing their own mortality.
We don’t want to upset anyone Talking about death can be uncomfortable for everyone—and broaching it with a close loved one can be traumatic or simply awkward.
For all of these things, though, just remember: Talking about death can be uncomfortable, but it is nothing compared to the burden of losing a loved one, having never discussed these important issues. Talking about death is the only way to provide peace of mind—for yourself, and for the people you care about.