I just ordered a book for a member, The Party of Your Life: Get the Funeral You Want by Planning It Yourself by Erika Dillman. When I paused to think, I recalled there was a time when I found the topic of death shivery and unwelcome. I believe the younger you are, the harder it is (excuse the pun) to live with the thought of death. Now, while I am not ready to embrace death as my favorite topic, I understand there is a practical nature to be considered.
When my husband went into hospice, I freaked out. Plan a funeral? Where do I start? And so on. I was fortunate. A dear friend with the right background advised me in a hundred different ways, easing my mind and giving me direction. Traditions and rules have changed radically. Cremation has become a choice. Ashes do not have to be buried in sacred ground. Do not be bound by old traditions.
Knowledge is crucial to your peace of mind and your pocketbook. I don’t know many poor funeral directors. With that in mind, do not allow yourself to be manipulated. Good sense and your taste should prevail. However, if you want to make a farewell gesture, well, why not? One final shining moment for you to leave the people you love. Order a champagne toast if you like. The people marked “special” in your life will find COMFORT. Write out the specifics as an addendum to your will.
I mean no disrespect to any faith or nationality. There are many rituals that different communities observe. There is no right or wrong, and no judgment is involved.
This past week a dear friend lost her mother. Off I went to the heartland of Iowa to a small community where everyone seemed to know each other. The number of small, personal floral offerings amazed me. As I stood at the burial site with a wind chill of zero, I felt happy to be there. I think the entire town came. Is that why they call it the heartland? Well for sure, it’s cold.
I write this not to put you off, but to alert you to your last adventure.