Want to avoid political arguments around the table this Thanksgiving? Talk about death and your preferences on end-of-life issues instead. Remembering that we all have a deadline, and rededicating ourselves to making the most of this lifetime before we reach that last day, provides some perspective.
Here are sources for great free tools you can download to help get the conversation started:
- The Conversation Project – Nonprofit organization dedicated to helping people talk about their wishes for end-of-life care.
- Compassion & Choices – Nonprofit organization working to improve care and expand options at the end of life and their new initiative, Truth in Treatment™.
- Have the Talk of a Lifetime – Nonprofit organization that encourages families to have conversations about life and what matters most.
- Engage With Grace – The One Slide Project: Check out my earlier blog post “Five Life and Death Questions Every Family Should Discuss This Thanksgiving (But Probably Won’t)”
- Kiplinger Personal Finance Magazine’s November 2016 issue features this article – “How to Plan Your Own Funeral” The reporter interviewed me at length, gave me one quote, and used my “Shop BEFORE You Drop” phrase as a headline.
If you’d rather watch TV, you can also start a conversation after watching these comedic films or TV programs. You’ll laugh, you’ll learn, and you’ll be able to start a funeral planning or end-of-life conversation more easily.
- The Mary Tyler Moore Show, the 1976 season’s hilarious episode 7 “Chuckles Bites the Dust” will get everyone sharing their funeral stories and preferences at the end of the 30-minute program. (Amazon link)
- Bernie – A true story about a beloved, caring funeral director who befriends the wealthiest widow in a small Texas town – and then things go terribly wrong. (Amazon link)
- Get Low – Another true story about a man in the 1930s who wanted to have his funeral while he was alive and make it a party. (Amazon link)
- Elizabethtown – A romantic comedy with a great sound track that illuminates the similarities between weddings and funerals and differences in family preferences regarding cremation or burial. (Amazon link)
- Undertaking Betty – Another romantic comedy set in Wales that features two funeral directors with very different styles of undertaking. (Amazon link)
- Checking Out – Peter Falk stars as an aging actor who gathers his family for a 90th birthday party by announcing he’ll be committing suicide afterward. (Amazon link)
- The Bucket List – Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman are cancer patients and hospital roommates who take the opportunity to live life to the fullest, discussing their final disposition preferences in the process. (Amazon link)
Wishing you and your family a very happy Thanksgiving – we have much to be thankful for. Links to recent posts at The Family Plot Blog, upcoming events and a funny quote follow. Please call 505.265.7215 if I can be of assistance!
Gail Rubin, The Doyenne of Death®
The Family Plot Blog Highlights
Requiem: A Free and Simple App for Funeral Communications The newly-introduced Requiem app is helping the funeral industry and families simplify the notification process and offers a host of other helpful benefits.
How to Get a Natural Burial in New Mexico On the latest A Good Goodbye Radio interview on FuneralRadio.com, host Gail Rubin, CT, interviews Linda Canyon and Donal Key, founders of La Puerta Burial Ground in central New Mexico.
How 7 Funeral Pros Are Changing What Families Think About Death Gail Rubin is one of the funeral pros quoted in this FuneralOne blog post!
How To Make Christmas Gift Giving a Downsizing Adventure This Christmas, avoid the clutter of unwanted items and make holiday gift giving an opportunity to downsize (featured today at the AAEPA blog!)
Upcoming Events and a Funny Quote
Sunday, December 4, 3:30 p.m. — Speaking and book signing event for KICKING THE BUCKET LIST: 100 Downsizing and Organizing Things to Do Before You Die at Page One Books in the Mountain Run Center, 5850 Eubank Blvd. Suite B-41, Albuquerque, NM.
Monday, December 5, 2:30 p.m. — Speaking and book signing event for KICKING THE BUCKET LIST: 100 Downsizing and Organizing Things to Do Before You Die at La Vida Llena Community, 10501 Lagrima De Oro Rd NE, Albuquerque, NM.
Thursday, December 8, 11:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. — Discussion and book signings for KICKING THE BUCKET LIST and other A Good Goodbye products at the Horn Family YMCA, 4901 Indian School Rd NE, Albuquerque, NM.
Saturday, December 10, 1:00 p.m. — Speaking and book signing event for KICKING THE BUCKET LIST: 100 Downsizing and Organizing Things to Do Before You Die at Treasure House Books, 2012 S Plaza St NW, Albuquerque, NM.
Saturday, December 17 from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. — The next Albuquerque Death Cafe will be held at Gail Rubin’s home. RSVP for the address. More information at this web page.
“When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years.” — Mark Twain
P.S. – You might find this Toastmasters talk I gave the weekend after the election offers some healing thoughts.