News and Notes: Resolving to Plan Ahead in 2016

Dec 2, 2015 | 0 comments

It’s my firm belief humor can help prompt us to prepare for inevitable end-of-life issues. We can only laugh about death when it seems far away. The recent wave of mass shootings in the U.S. and abroad is a sobering reminder that our precious lives can be unexpectedly cut short.

Despairing ManWhen we die without having made or discussed funeral arrangements or put our vital information together, our family and friends suffer more than the loss of our company. They experience unneeded stress as they scramble to figure out what to do next.

You can be a hero in your own life by planning ahead. As I said in my TEDx talk – Prepare a will or trust. Write your medical wishes. Make your funeral plans. Talk to the people you love. Resolve to make a good goodbye for yourself.

To help get that resolution done early in 2016, register for the next A Good Goodbye Laughing and Learning Workshop. This workshop, to be held on Saturday, January 9, 2016 from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m., will give you the tools and the inspiration to take practical steps for outlining your funeral plans/memorial celebration, drafting your own obituary and famous last words, and preparing advance medical directives. Funny film clips, supportive conversations, books, DVDs, and take-home printed materials are included in this workshop. CLICK HERE to find out more.

Want to be a Funeral Celebrant? A number of people have asked me how to become a Certified Funeral Celebrant. My training was provided by the In-Sight Institute at ICCFA University. ICCFA is offering this intensive celebrant training in Las Vegas, Nevada, January 11-13, 2016 for $1,250 (less for ICCFA members). Learn more at this ICCFA webpage.

Highlights of recent blog posts and news about my latest book, Hail and Farewell: Cremation Ceremonies, Templates and Tips follow. Please call if I can be of assistance with your personal training for funeral planning, final expense insurance, and Funeral Celebrant services – 505.265.7215.

Live long and prosper,

Gail Rubin, CT, The Doyenne of Death®

The Family Plot Blog Highlights

Click on the titles to read the blog post. Review all posts on The Family Plot Blog or view just the Death Cartoons posted on the blog!

Creative Caskets at NFDA  A glimpse at the many creative caskets on display at the recent National Funeral Directors Association convention and expo.

Unique Urns at NFDA  From football helmets to metal teddy bears, these unique urns turned heads at the expo.

Low Pressure Alkaline Hydrolysis System

Low pressure alkaline hydrolysis system from Bio-Response Solutions.

Update on Alkaline Hydrolysis Systems  At the 2015 NFDA convention, there was a lot of interest in alkaline hydrolysis, a water-based alternative to fire-based cremation.

Returning a Relative’s Ashes: Ask The Doyenne of Death  Because each person reacts differently to keeping cremated remains around, does it make sense to give cremation necklaces or keepsake urns containing ashes to family members?

Hail and Farewell Now Available

Hail and Farewell Cover SmallThe new book, Hail and Farewell: Cremation Ceremonies, Templates and Tips, is now available to help families with memorial service guidance and creative ideas. Read more about the book.

The 126-page book covers everything related to creating a meaningful memorial service with cremated remains:

  • Why it’s important to hold some sort of goodbye ceremony.
  • A description of the cremation process, so families know what to expect.
  • Examples of different ways to scatter ashes – more than you’d think!
  • Stories of creative memorial services in different settings to spark ideas.
  • Templates to easily create meaningful memorial services.
  • Sample scripts from actual memorial services to provide inspiration.
  • Suggested readings, music and online resources for a wealth of meaningful materials to weave into a service.

The book’s title refers to the last line of an ancient elegiac poem written by the Roman poet Gaius Valerius Catullus approximately 2,000 years ago. He mourns the death of his brother, who died while Catullus was traveling abroad. Upon his return, he sadly addresses his brother’s cremated remains, “… with brotherly weeping. And forever, brother, hail and farewell.”

Hail and Farewell: Cremation Ceremonies, Templates and Tips, is published by Light Tree Press and retails for $10.00 (plus shipping and NM sales tax as applicable). Order your copies today!

“If I could drop dead right now I’d be the happiest man alive.” — Samuel Goldwyn

A Good Goodbye