Bringing up to the topic of death is hard within any family. No matter what your personal situation, discussing your own eventual passing can bring up high emotions in you and those who care about you. However, since there are many good reasons for making your final plans well in advance of when they will be needed, it's important to bite the bullet and discuss your headstone plans with your family.
Set Aside Time for a Serious Talk
Be sure that people set aside time to have a serious talk with you. Once everyone is in the same room and ready to listen, don't hesitate to get right to the point. Explain that you feel the need to discuss your headstone plans with them and talk about the exact arrangements you have made with the cemetery, a funeral home like Maurice Moore Memorials, or a headstone maker.
Be Detailed in Your Discussion
Although your plans may be final with the funeral home, you do want to get the family on board with honoring your wishes. Be as detailed as you possibly can when talking about what you want on your headstone. Cover everything. Talk about how you want your name to appear, what verses or poems you may want included, and any additional text you may want on your headstone. This is also a good time to go over practical matters like the materials of your headstone, the style, and how elaborate you want it to be.
Talk About the Life You've Lived
In discussing what your headstone plans are, it's a good idea to discuss the life that you've lived with your family and why you have come to the decisions you have. If a family member objects to a choice or worries that it may seem controversial, you may want to explain your reasoning, but you are under no obligation to do so. This is also a good opportunity to discuss what you truly want to say to the world. A headstone is your last opportunity to communicate with others in the world, even many strangers who may be here generations from now. Explain other reasons you may have if you want to do so.
Revisit the Discussion
Just as you should update your will regularly, it's important to also update your burial plans every so often. Hopefully you will be many decades away from ever needing the headstone that you have carefully planned, but knowing that it is in place can give you peace of mind. Over the years, you may change your mind about your final wishes, and that's perfectly fine. Be sure to update the funeral home when you do change your mind and bring it up again with your family to be sure that they allow your final wishes to eventually be honored.
Finally, keep in mind that nobody gets to decide what should be on your headstone except for you. No matter how well-meaning advice from family may be, you are under no obligation to accept any of it. The most important thing is being true to yourself and ensuring that your headstone represents what you truly want to say to the world.