Nobody ever wants to have to lose a young person they love to cancer or other fatal illnesses. It's an unthinkable tragedy. Unfortunately, thousands of teenagers are diagnosed with cancer each year. According to the American Society for Clinical Oncology, each year over 1,000 deaths from cancer occur among kids and teens under the age of 14, while around 600 deaths occur for teens between the ages of 15 to 19. If you know a teenager who is facing hospice care, gently helping them pre-plan the funeral can provide them with some comfort and a sense of control over what they want to say to their loved ones within their memorial service. Here are some ways you can help a teen make their final plans.
Let the Teen Lead the Way
When it comes to helping a teenager deal with their mortality, it's best to let the teen lead the way. You don't want to just come right out and talk about pre-planning the funeral. When the moment is right and a teenager brings up their own concerns about passing away, you may suggest the option of pre-planning a funeral. Some teenagers will want to learn more and a be a part of this process, while others would rather not think of it and leave the plans to their loved ones. Praise the teen for whichever decision they make that serves them best.
Consult a Trust Lawyer
No matter what the age is of the person who is making their final plans, consulting a trust lawyer is a good idea. An estate law firm can help reassure your teen of decisions that they want to make and also provide practical advice. Help the teenager prepare questions prior to seeing the lawyer so that they are able to get all of their concerns addressed and move forward with plans. Time is precious, especially in such a situation, and the lawyer can save you a lot of time and worry. For more information, contact local professionals like Wright Law Offices, PLLC.
Take the time to get detailed answers from your teenager. While the teen is leading the way, you need to know about such things as which songs they would like played at the memorial service, what sort of gravestone they want, and what the guest list to the memorial service may be like. You may be surprised by a teen's decisions, but try to be supportive.
Make Plans for Something Fun, Too
To ease a little of the pain while making the final plans with the teenager, also plan for a fun activity that you two can do after the planning session or at least the next day. The teen may not be up to switching gears and having fun immediately. Let the teenager decide and splurge on a fun activity that you both can enjoy together.
Finally, keep in mind that you need to take care of yourself when taking on this monumental task. It is inevitably going to be an emotionally draining experience for you and the special teenager you are assisting. Prepare yourself for this task and be sure to release your own emotions after you have helped the teen make these important plans.