New Zealand Funeral Group Helps Start a Tough Conversation

A new campaign launched this week by the Funeral Directors Association of New Zealand is intended to give citizens the opportunity to plan better funerals for loved ones by creating open-ended discussions focused on positive memories.

Let’s face it: Death has never been an easy topic to discuss, and it never will be. But a New Zealand industry group hopes to start that discussion by encouraging families to talk about life.

The “Take the Time to Talk” campaign, launched this week by the Funeral Directors Association of New Zealand (FDANZ), suggests that people discuss their life highlights and stories with loved ones—a positive way to ensure that those loved ones can better honor the person’s life, as well as his or her last wishes, after death.

“Rather than it being a sad conversation, sharing stories can be an enjoyable, comforting event which can provide reassurance your final farewell is respectful of your wishes and an accurate portrayal of your life,” the association explains on its campaign website.

In comments to The Dominion Post, FDANZ CEO Katrina Shanks noted that the campaign’s strategy is to get people to slow down enough to talk about their lives with their families.

“The family doesn’t necessarily remember all the things that happened in that person’s life when they have passed away,” Shanks explained in an interview.

In a news release, Shanks noted that the public-education effort may be about a topic that’s difficult to broach, but the open-ended-discussion approach FDANZ encourages can be an effective way to bring up funerals. Shanks adds that it doesn’t have to be painful.

“Sitting down with loved ones to talk about your life can be a rich and satisfying experience,” Shanks said. “This campaign isn’t just about planning funerals, it’s about sharing the memorable events, people, places and favorite activities, values and lessons learned in your life.”

The campaign, the first of its kind by FDANZ, will continue through April 15.


Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a senior editor for Associations Now, a former newspaper guy, and a man who is dangerous when armed with a good pun. MORE

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