The third “30 Funerals in 30 Days Challenge” is coming soon. From mid-August to mid-September, Gail Rubin, The Doyenne of Death™, will attend a funeral a day and write about each on The Family Plot Blog.
The goals of the 30 Funerals in 30 Days Challenge are to:
1. Illustrate the many creative ways people celebrate the lives of those they love.
2. Help reduce a fear of talking about death – something that will happen to all of us.
3. Show that funerals are a life cycle event much like a wedding, best planned more than a few days ahead of time.
This year’s challenge focuses on the lives of baby boomers and how they are celebrated. During the 2011 Challenge, the last funeral Gail covered was for a woman her own age. The memorial service for Erika Langholf (who died at age 53) was so joyous and creative, Gail decided to document funeral services for people in their 50s and 60s – a group of people who generally do not yet plan to die.
Like the characters from the cult film Harold and Maude, Rubin will attend an Albuquerque-area funeral or memorial service daily. The services are selected based on public obituary notices in the local newspaper. Stories will be posted about each event every day at The Family Plot Blog.
Some highlights from the 2011 Challenge were a memorial luncheon in a bowling alley bar, a funeral for a Dallas Cowboys fan, a memorial service for a young TV news reporter, and a celebration of life for a hot air balloon pioneer. There was “My Big Fat Italian Funeral” home celebration of life, a service that featured a jazz quartet in a club, and a ceremony in a Japanese garden.
Among the most memorable services in 2010 were two pews of Red Hat Society ladies in full regalia, a Harley Davidson motorcycle in a funeral chapel, an artist’s remembrance that featured her favorite lemon meringue pie, an AA meeting-style remembrance for an addiction counselor, and a funeral for a fallen police officer.