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How can I get my parents/partner/child to talk about death with me?

It’s not that talking about death with your parents or other loved ones will be fun as much as how difficult and awful everything can be if you don’t have the talk. Think about the people you leave behind.

Here’s a video about Talking To Your Parents About Death and a functional follow up of 12 Tough Questions to Ask Your Parents.

If someone is reluctant to talk, share how a lack of planning and reluctance to talk about death can fracture families.

In this video we talk about how to respond to the more extreme death deniers in your family, and provide helpful responses to the many deflections you may have to contend with.

To make the conversation more lighthearted and approachable, you might want to try the Starter Kit from the Conversation Project. Finally, here is a robust list of further resources from Dying Matters.

Death-education and preparedness stands to help everyone in your community. But what if you’re worried that your desire to talk about death will send a suicidal friend or relative over the edge? Or, what if you’re the one with the history of suicidal ideation, and bringing up death preparation makes the people in your life concerned? How can you help them calm down and listen? A licensed clinical counselor, weighs in, in this article.

Over the past year death, tragedy, and mortality has, for many, felt closer than ever, and the simple question of “How are you doing?,” can feel loaded. How can we navigate death talk in light of this? We want you to know it’s OK to talk with your friends and family about death right now.

What about my friends or therapist?

It’s important to have someone who you can share your curiosity and fears surrounding death with in a safe and relatively matter-of-fact manner. Here’s an article on the importance of death positive friendships, and how you can find your very own “Death Buddy”.

Telling your friends and family about death positivity is one thing, but sharing this world with our medical providers, especially our therapists, can prove complicated, uncomfortable, and challenging—here’s some help and guidance.

How do I talk to children about death?

The best time to start talking to kids about death is now.

Start with this video on the importance of discussing death with children, then follow up with this death positive advocate and former early childhood teacher, who covers a lot in this podcast on addressing death in childhood, and how adults can respond to more challenging questions or anxious feelings about death from kids.

But, what if someone in your family or circle of friends died and you need to address the subject immediately? The Sharing Center, a grief support organization for children, has offered some fact based explanations about death, suicide, types of death and illness, and also how to explain issues like death by murder.

In the Books section of our resource guide, you’ll also find suggestions devoted to helping children and young adults, understand and cope with death and grief.