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Have the Talk of a Lifetime

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Talk about how you want to be remembered.
It can make the difference of a lifetime.

There’s so much we experience in our lives. There are the big moments that shape us – graduation, a first job, getting married and starting a family, new home, and retirement. When we reflect on our lives, it’s these memories and milestones that may come to mind first.

But a life story is so much more than that. The small moments and people we meet along life’s journey are a part of us and helped shape who we are and what we value. Although we may know about some of the big moments in the lives of our loved ones, we may not know much about the other experiences and people who helped shape them.

Sitting down with our loved ones to talk about their lives can be rich and satisfying. Learning about memorable events and people, places and favorite activities, values, and lessons they have learned can help bring us closer to those we care about most.

Having the talk of a lifetime can make the difference of a lifetime. It can help reacquaint us with our loved ones and help us get to know them in a new and different way.

Finding a way to start talking with a loved one may be the most difficult part; however, we might find that once the conversation starts, it may be hard to stop.

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What is Have the Talk of a Lifetime?

Have the Talk of a Lifetime, founded by the Funeral and Memorial Information Council (FAMIC), was created to help families have important conversations about the things that matter most to them and how a person’s life story can be remembered and honored in a meaningful way. Memorialization is so much more than it used to be. Today it can reflect a person’s life story, values, interests, and experiences. Meaningful memorialization can be transformative, healing, and comforting. Have the Talk of a Lifetime offers families practical advice and tools to help them have conversations about the things that matter most and how they hope to be remembered when they die and for generations to come

Why is having the Talk of a Lifetime important?

Deep down, most of us want to know that we, in some way, made a difference in this world. Having the Talk of a Lifetime can make the difference of a lifetime. It can help reacquaint us with our loved ones and help us get to know them in a new and different way. Sitting down with your loved ones to talk about their lives can be rich and satisfying. Learning about memorable events and people, places and favorite activities, values, and lessons they have learned can help bring us closer to those we care about most. The talk helps us reaffirm to our loved ones how much they have impacted our life.

Who should Have the Talk of a Lifetime?

You can have the talk of a lifetime with anyone you hold dear – your parents, children, grandparents, aunts and uncles, a spouse, or a friend. It can happen anywhere you and your loved one are most comfortable – over a meal, at home, on a walk, at a family gathering, or while playing a game. Your conversation can take place at any time, not just at the end of life.

How do I start the Talk of a Lifetime?

It's often easier than you might think! And once you get started, you may find it difficult to stop!

Sometimes, using a visual prompt, such as a photo album, souvenir, or memento, can be a great way to start a conversation. Memorable places, such as the church where your loved one was married or a favorite park can also help someone begin to open up and share their story.

You could share a memory about a vacation you took together and will always remember, a piece of advice that you cherish, a song that reminds you of them or the reasons you will never forget them. You may wish to take notes during or after your conversation or make an audio recording. You should choose whatever method seems most appropriate and comfortable given the setting of your conversation.

Some questions you could ask to start the talk are:

  • What is your proudest achievement?
  • What was the one piece of advice you received from your parents or grandparents that you never forgot?
  • Tell me about the most memorable summer you had growing up.
  • Tell me about your favorite teacher; what did you learn from him or her?
  • If you could spend a day doing anything you like, what would it be?
  • Who has been your greatest inspiration?

Have the Talk of a Lifetime Conversation Cards are a super easy way to get the conversation started.

Preparation Checklist

The average person makes funeral arrangements only once or twice in their lifetime. It is natural to feel overwhelmed or perhaps have a fear of the unknown. If you are planning in advance, your local funeral professional can help. Download our pre-planning preparation checklist.

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