It IS “A Wonderful Life”

Dec 3, 2013 | 0 comments

The holidays are officially upon us, with the music, TV specials and movies that evoke memories of earlier Christmas seasons. One of my favorite films, besides A Christmas Story (30th anniversary this year of Ralphie hearing, “You’ll put your eye out!”), is It’s A Wonderful Life (67th anniversary of “Every time a bell rings, an angel gets its wings!”).

It's A Wonderful Life coverIf you like It’s A Wonderful Life and want to see it in its entirety with popcorn and without commercials, please join me for next week’s Movie Night at FRENCH Funerals-Cremations’ Wyoming location. We’re showing the film at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, December 12 and we’ll have door prizes, too!

What makes It’s A Wonderful Life a movie related to funeral planning issues?

If you’ll recall the story line, George Bailey gave up his dreams of traveling the world to help his community of Bedford Falls through his family’s savings and loan business. When George faces economic disaster, he ponders jumping into a freezing cold river on Christmas Eve.

His guardian angel Clarence Oddbody saves him from committing suicide and shows him how different life would be in Bedford Falls had he never been born. Had George succeeded with his suicide attempt, Christmas at the Bailey household would have been much different than the happy ending portrayed in this award-winning Frank Capra film.

After the film, we’ll discuss loss and grief at this tradition-laden time of year and how to soften the holiday blues. I’ve got my own story to share with you and hope to see you there. Please let Barbara Stewart know if you can come by emailing her: or by calling 505.843.6333.

This week on A Good Goodbye Radio, I’m interviewing Allison Copening, CEO of Seasons Funeral Planning Services on new trends in funeral planning, include the role of celebrants in memorial services and funerals.

Seasons is not a funeral home nor do they take the place of the funeral home. They are guidance counselors a family sees before visiting or selecting a funeral provider. They help families better understand the process and determine the best funeral home to meet their needs and budget. Then they take on many of the tasks that funeral directors leave to the family. Listen live on Wednesday, December 4.

Top Tips from Last Week’s Show

On last week’s A Good Goodbye Radio, I spoke with Alexandra Drane, co-founder of the nonprofit organization Engage With Grace. We discussed how to start conversations on advance directives with family and loved ones during Thanksgiving and upcoming holiday get-together events. A few suggestions:

  • Remind yourself that you want to discuss advance directives to avoid grief, arguments and sadness at a loved one’s hospital bedside.
  • Consider discussing advance directives while going for a drive or taking a walk – with eyes forward, you may more easily discuss hard-to-tackle topics.
  • Life circumstances change – talk early and often about what you might want at this point in your life.
  • When visiting a doctor to discuss a serious diagnosis, take a trusted person with you to act as an additional pair of eyes and ears who’s able to ask questions for you.
  • Download The One Slide Project, one sheet of paper with five questions to help get the conversation started, as a PDF through this link.

Other Upcoming Events

Lola at ABQ Death Cafe

Lola at ABQ Death Cafe

All Singing, All Dancing: Storytelling in Busby Berkeley Musicals – Film clip talk at Palo Duro Senior Center, Wednesday, December 11 at 9:30 a.m.

Albuquerque Death Cafe – Come join the wide-ranging conversation at Sheila’s Sweets on Saturday, December 14 at 2:30 p.m. If the holidays present issues of concern for you, we can discuss those at this event.

A Good Goodbye