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Your story could bring comfort when you die

an old fashioned typewriter with a document

Want traditional funeral hymns sung at your funeral, your favourite modern song, or AC/DC playing out loud? If so, will the important people in your life know what it is you would have wanted, when the time comes?

That’s why the Australian Funeral Directors Association (AFDA) is inspiring people to think about the highlights of their own life story, as well as leave a record of the important information that could help family members at a difficult time.

The association’s behind a campaign called Your Goodbye, supporting Australians to start a conversation about their funeral wishes and make a note of details that could be really helpful for the people that mean most to you, to know.

Your Goodbye features two documents that you can download and fill in. The first is about the ‘nuts and bolts’ of your life and the funeral arrangements you’d prefer.

It’s good to know

Ranging from things you might assume family would already know, to topics that it’s not always easy to think about, the idea is for Your Goodbye to help people cope more easily, when a someone dies.

From deciding on a funeral that’s fitting, to dealing with the many official channels that need to be notified after someone’s death, it’s a way of reassuring folk and providing them with the information they need to make things a little less overwhelming.

Details you can include range from your date and place of birth, to where people can find your will and details about your finances. Things you can also think about include the kind of funeral you’d prefer, whether burial or cremation, a celebration of life or a very private ceremony.

This kind of funeral wishes list could be reassuring and helpful to those who want to do right by you.

Your story

The second part of the AFDA’s Your Goodbye campaign is the Your Story journal, which you can also download. This has lots of prompts to help you record the information that could be a part of your eulogy, from memories of your schooldays to your proudest moments and little-known facts about your life that even close family members may be surprised to learn about.

It’s a chance to share with people how you’d like to be remembered and could be a great way to start a conversation with your nearest and dearest about the things in life that matter most.

Funeral wishes are just that – wishes. Unlike instructions in a will, they are not legally binding, or may not all be possible for a loved one to fulfil. But a dying wish list could reassure your loved ones that, yes, it was exactly what you would have wanted – even if your last wish is simply for them to heal and live happily, when you’re gone.

Talking points: 10 Your Goodbye conversation-starters

Thinking about making funeral plans? Search and compare funeral directors in your local area.