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Avoiding Family Conflicts When Arranging Funerals

Published: May 15, 2023
by Simply Cremations & Funeral Services

Calgary, AB funeral homes

When families are arranging funerals at Calgary, AB funeral homes, they will be doing so during a time of intense stress caused by shock, grief, and loss. Even the most cooperative families and those without internal preexisting issues may find themselves at odds with each other over how final arrangements should be done. For families with a more fractured history before the loss of a loved one, the task of making funeral arrangements is a potential breaking point.

If the conflicts aren't managed so that they don't erupt, they can lead to long-term feelings of resentment and anger, which can cause estrangement, something the deceased loved one would have never wanted.

One way to avoid family conflicts when arranging funerals is to remember that these arrangements are to show honor, respect, and love to the deceased family member. It is about them, not about the individual wishes and desires of the remaining family members.

The biggest reason for many of the disagreements that people have is a lack of communication. This happens in everyday life, at work, at school, and at home. Grieving families who are making funeral arrangements for a loved one must work hard at communicating with each other. However, not only should the words be said at the right time and in a clear way, but the tone in which they're said should be respectful and calm. Shouting matches don't resolve anything, but they can create resentment and hard feelings that may carry on far beyond the funeral.

All family members have to be willing to compromise in order to avoid conflicts while making funeral arrangements. Unless the deceased left specific instructions on what they wanted for their funeral, it's up to the family to decide how best to memorialize their loved one. People will disagree on things, but it's important to understand that the things that may be in dispute are little in the grand scheme of things and not worth disrupting the entire process and possibly fracturing the family.

One family member may want the whole funeral done in one day. Another family member may want the visitation and funeral service in the evening and the graveside service the next morning. There may be disagreements about casket sprays in terms of the design and flower color(s). There might be different ideas about the readings and music selected for the funeral service.

Everybody has to be willing to give, and the best way to compromise is to make sure that everybody gets something they want to be included in the funeral arrangements. It should be, if possible, the thing that is most important to them. This way, every family member gets an equal part in the process.

Another way to avoid family conflicts when making funeral arrangements is to share the responsibilities. In most families, when siblings make arrangements, the oldest usually defaults back to the childhood role of being in charge. This inevitably leads to that sibling being saddled with the majority of the responsibility for making the funeral arrangements. It also excludes the rest of the siblings from having a role. Let go of childhood and let everyone do what they’re best at to make the funeral come together and eliminate conflict.

For more help avoiding family conflicts during funeral arrangements at Calgary, AB funeral homes, our compassionate and experienced staff at Simply Cremations & Funeral Services can give you guidance.