Baby Boomers and Funerals: The Party of Your Life?

May 6, 2013 | 1 comment

Who would plan a wedding in only three to five days? Yet that’s what most people do with the life cycle event known as a funeral. Talk about stress!

Party of Your Life coverFuneral planning with flair is the topic of the May 8 Internet radio show A Good Goodbye: Funeral Planning for Those Who Don’t Plan to Die. The guest is Erika Dillman, author of The Party of Your Life: Get the Funeral You Want by Planning It Yourself. This upbeat book helps baby boomers design a send-off that reflects their interests, achievements and tastes.

Among the unique topics covered in The Party of Your Life are putting together your funeral posse (those who will carry out your plans), planning your guest list, the care and feeding of your guests, creating your funeral soundtrack and funeral gift bags.

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“Weddings and funerals have very similar elements. You need to set the time, date and location; alert family and friends; arrange for food and drink; determine what to wear; write the program; select the celebrant or clergy; and on and on,” says Gail Rubin, host and author of A Good Goodbye: Funeral Planning for Those Who Don’t Plan to Die.

“Most couples plan their wedding months, if not years, ahead of time,” Rubin explains. “Yet, if brides and grooms planned this life cycle event the way most people plan their funerals, they’d be scrambling to pull everything together at the last minute.”

By planning ahead and having a conversation, families can reduce stress at a time of grief, minimize family conflict, save money and create a meaningful, memorable “good goodbye.”

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A Good Goodbye is an entertaining and educational weekly 60-minute online radio show on “everything you need to know before you go.” A Good Goodbye program podcasts can be downloaded from iTunes or

Last week’s guest on A Good Goodbye was Martha Hayward, who leads public and patient engagement with The Conversation Project and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement. The conversation focused on the topic of how to discuss end-of-life wishes with loved ones.

A Good Goodbye covers a wide range of critical information most people don’t consider until there’s a death in the family. Topics to be discussed on upcoming programs include: green burial (May 15); whole body donation (May 22), pet loss (May 29), advance funeral planning (June 5) and funeral consumer issues (June 12).

Host Gail Rubin brings a light touch to a serious subject and presents expert interviews on funeral planning issues with practical insights into the party no one wants to plan. More information is available at

A Good Goodbye