Choosing How You Want To Be Remembered

We cannot choose how we will be remembered. No one is perfect - inevitably, our loved ones will have some memories of us that are sublime, and some that are painful. Sometimes, a single memory will bring up both feelings at once.

People are incredibly beautiful, complex beings, and our memories of each other invariably shift over time. We dwell on certain memories and experiences, and those, in turn, shape our future recollections. Trying to pin down the memory of a person is kind of like trying to pin down water - it’s too fluid.

That’s okay. The complexity of your memories of a person are a reflection of the complexity of life. While you can’t control how people will remember you, you can exert a degree of control over how your memorial services will be conducted.

Talking to your loved ones

The best way of going about this is by having earnest discussions with your loved ones about how you want to be remembered. This conversation can be awkward, depending on your culture - there’s a tendency in a lot of North American families to be very hush-hush about death.

If you want to have a say in how you’ll be remembered, however, you need to talk about death.

This conversation doesn’t need to be bleak. When we talk about death, we must talk about life - one must necessarily include the other. This gives you and your loved ones an opportunity to talk about cherished memories, experiences you’ve had together, the things you share in common.

The things you love. The people you love.

It can be difficult to find the right words to start a conversation about death and remembrance. The simplest way might be to say to your loved ones "I’d like to talk about how I’ll be remembered when I die. I know that may be hard, or sound like it’s out of the blue - if you don’t want to talk right now, let’s schedule a day". Address any concerns they may have (what prompted you to bring up the topic, etc.). Find a time you’re all comfortable with, then have the talk.

Pre-planning your funeral

Another way you can choose how you’ll be remembered is by pre-planning your funeral. You shouldn’t do this without talking to your loved ones - they should know you’re going through the process, so they don’t find out about your plans when you die. There’s enough stress surrounding death - more surprises are almost always unwelcome.

The pre-planning process gives you control over so many different things - decor, music, venue, the works. It also allows you to alleviate any financial concerns your loved ones might have. When everything is already paid for, there are no difficult decisions to make about what to purchase.

Pre-planning also allows you to visit a number of different funeral homes in Winnipeg to compare prices, services offered, and the like.

While we can’t choose how we’ll be remembered in the long-term, we can take actions to ensure that when we pass, our loved ones will need to deal with as little stress as possible.

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