Education — Precompose

How to Talk to Friends & Family About Recompose

Explaining your end‑of‑life wishes

Talking with your friends and family about your end-of-life wishes is a great way to make sure they understand what you want and why it is meaningful to you. The template below specifically designed to help you talk to people in your life who are not your legal designated agent (you can find agent resources here). Potential recipients for a letter or email based on this template may include your friends, biological or nonbiological family, partners, or adult children. We’ve also included optional prompts you can use to personalize the letter to the person to whom you’re writing and your unique wishes.

Letter Template

Dear [Name],

I’m writing about an important topic I want to discuss with you. I respect and value you, and I trust you to respect my choices as well. [Personalize here to include why you value this person. Including details about your personal connection can give you a moment to remember why this person is important to you, and give them a sense of why you are informing them of your end-of-life wishes.]

This letter deals in topics that may be challenging to think about, including death. If you’re not ready to read on right now, please take your time and come back when you do feel ready.

I want to talk to you about my end-of-life wishes. I know this might be surprising – it’s an understandable tendency to limit the amount of time we spend thinking about death. But although it can be hard, making decisions about my death can also be empowering. Choosing what will happen when I die now allows me to make a challenging time easier for my friends and family, and gives me peace of mind in knowing my death care will be in alignment with how I’ve lived. [Personalize here with why you are making end-of-life plans and why it matters to you to have those planned followed when you die.]

I’ve chosen a company called Recompose to handle my death care. When I die, Recompose will steward my body through natural organic reduction, a process that gently converts human remains into soil. I’ve chosen this process because it is good for the planet and meaningful for me on a personal level. [Add here: Why you chose Recompose, what it means to you, and why you find peace in becoming soil when you die.]

I’ve designated a legal agent who will work with Recompose to ensure my end-of-life wishes are followed with respect and care. [If it is relevant to the person to whom you are writing, you can name your agent here. You could also include details of if you have or plan to prepay for the Recompose service.]

Thank you for reading this letter and for respecting my end-of-life wishes. [Personalize here if you are interested in feedback from the person or if you’re willing to answer their questions. It’s also okay if you do not invite their input on your choice.]

Sincerely,

[Name]

Additional Explanations

If you expect this person may need additional explanation in order to accept your choice, consider adding an additional section addressing their skepticism. Examples could include:

If they may be skeptical about this new process: I know it might be hard for you to hear that I’ve chosen a death care option that is not something you are familiar with. Recompose is a reputable death care provider. The company invented the process of natural organic reduction, and has proven in numerous scientific studies that this approach is safe and effective. Recompose is also a licensed funeral home, and all of its operators are licensed to ensure their operations maintain the utmost safety and professionalism.

If they may be concerned about the cost: The Recompose price is well within the range of other death care options. I am making arrangements for the cost of my death care to be covered either through prepayment or in my estate.

If they may be concerned about the logistics: I have appointed a designated agent to work with Recompose in ensuring my end-of-life wishes are followed upon my death. They will carry out my wishes as I have documented them with care and respect.

If they may feel this process isn’t respectful: Recompose is the death care choice that aligns with my personal values. The environmental benefits and the opportunity to truly return to and nourish the earth make this a deeply respectful option for me. While I appreciate it may not align with your own principles, I ask that you respect that this is the process that resonates most with me.

If they may feel this process is not in alignment with their religion: I understand and respect the death care practices of your (or our) faith. I ask you to please respect that I have made the determination that this process does align with my own faith and what I want for my death care. I’d be glad to talk with you about why I find this process to be in alignment with my faith.

Related Articles

Land Acknowledgement

Recompose acknowledges we make our lives and livelihoods on the lands of the Coast Salish People, specifically the Duwamish People. We honor with gratitude the Duwamish People past and present, the land itself, and the Duwamish Tribe.

Colonization is an active, persistent process. Indigenous communities continue to be resilient in protecting their ecological and cultural lifeways and deathways despite ongoing oppression. Recompose respects, shares, and supports this commitment to climate healing and environmental justice. Join Recompose in contributing to Real Rent Duwamish.

built by Civilization