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Why Is Talking About Death So Taboo?

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why_is_death-tabooDeath is uncomfortable. Most of us don’t want to talk about it, or plan for it. By facing it, we’re forced to accept the reality of the situation—that death is inevitable—so we choose to tiptoe around the topic until it’s too late.

But what if we actually talked about it? What if we took an active role in how we’re remembered by those we leave behind?

In recent years, the aging Baby Boomer generation has taken strides to not only face death, but also embrace it to find the true meaning of life. In doing so, they report feeling more in control of how it’s handled during their final days, weeks and months.

Below, we dive deeper into the taboo topic of death, and how we can begin to destigmatize it to calm our fears.

1. Fear of the Unknown

In a survey about death in the U.S., 42% of respondents said they’re somewhat afraid or very afraid of death. Some people are afraid of dying alone. Others fear pain and suffering.

Part of this also has to do with fear of the unknown. Many of us don’t know how or when it will happen unless diagnosed with a life-limiting condition. Even then, we sometimes choose to ignore that it’s coming. Instead, we would rather focus on what life has to offer, including our own dreams, goals and wishes.

But trying to figure out what you fear can help you face it and manage it. It will also help others be able to support you in your final moments. For example, if you fear being alone, share this sentiment with family members and friends. This gives them the chance to help you cope with some of your fears.

2. Fear of Saying the Wrong Thing 

Another reason we avoid the topic of death is fear of saying the wrong thing. It’s not only family members and friends who find it difficult to discuss, but also the dying often find themselves struggling to express their thoughts and feelings about it.

We don’t want to make matters worse for others, so we choose to say nothing at all. In doing so, we miss out on the opportunity to connect with those who are dying or grieving. This often translates to increased feelings of isolation or loneliness.

But death shouldn’t be done alone. It should involve close family members and friends, so initiate the conversation, no matter how awkward or difficult. This may help you look at and deal with some of your fears in new ways.

>>>Related Resource: Get access to 25+ conversation-starting questions to initiate meaningful conversation with your loved ones.

3. Fear of Being a Burden 

Some people choose to avoid the topic of death out of fear of being a burden to surviving family members and friends. If intensive care was involved like hospice, the person may not want to add anything else to the list of things their loved ones have to worry about before they pass. They might also worry about how their death will affect those left behind, so they don’t bring it up. But worrying endlessly about these things won’t make anyone feel better.

By planning ahead, you can alleviate the burden so many people feel as death nears. When you preplan, you relieve your family from handling arrangements on their own. This helps ease the burden your family must face when planning a funeral—from both a financial and emotional standpoint.

The services selected are locked in at today’s rates to save your family from rising funeral costs. Not to mention, you work with a preplanning adviser to document your final wishes for your family to carry out. This way, they don’t have to wonder about what you would have wanted in a funeral. 

Download the Seniors’ Guide to Funeral Arrangements

Death is not an easy topic to discuss, but having conversations about it can help you get more comfortable with the idea. For more information on the emotional and financial benefits of preplanning, download the Seniors’ Guide to Funeral Arrangements to learn how preplanning can save you and your family time, money and worry.

Funeral Preplanning Financial Guide


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