Brits live with regret over not broaching difficult conversations


Monday, October 24, 2017

Darryl Smith, Funeral General Manager

The news comes from The Co-operative Funeralcare following a survey on the most difficult conversations.

Two thirds of people (66 per cent) regret not telling someone how much they meant to them before that person passed away. Twenty-four per cent regret not apologising for something, 22 per cent feel sorry for failing to resolve a rift with a loved one who has since died, and 17 per cent regret not talking about preferred funeral plans and wishes.

More than one in ten say they regret not discussing financial affairs.

Other difficult subjects to make the list include telling a loved one that someone has died (33 per cent), telling a loved one about a life-threatening illness (31 per cent) and having to end a relationship (18 per cent).

In all, more than half (54 per cent) admit to avoiding a difficult conversation where possible.

Darryl Smith, General Manager of the Heart of England Co-operative Society, which operates a network of 13 funeral homes across Coventry, Warwickshire, south Leicestershire and Northamptonshire, said although certain conversations were difficult or painful, the consequences of not having them at all could potentially be far more reaching.

He said: “Many of us avoid talking about the important topics because we feel they are too difficult to broach.

“While they are often emotive subjects, just think about how many issues could be resolved if we tackled them face to face.

“That is why we want to get people talking about their wishes for later life now, as it is better to have the conversation than to be left with regrets.

“It also means that if these needs are talked about now, it can remove some of the emotional pressures of planning a funeral.”

The most difficult topics of conversations among those questioned in the survey were:

  1. Telling a loved one that someone has died
  2. Telling a loved one about a life threatening illness
  3. Consoling a loved one after someone has died
  4. Ending a relationship
  5. Talking to children about a break up
  6. Talking to a loved one about going into a care / nursing home
  7. Telling children about the birds and the bees
  8. Talking about financial problems

Darryl added: “We would urge people to start talking with family and friends about these difficult subjects. It will be better in the long run as it will enable them to plan ahead and make their funeral wishes well known.”

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