funeral planning;

Planning Ahead: Death Cafes and more

Maybe you have ideas or questions related to death that you haven’t had a chance to explore out loud. Maybe you’re not sure how to voice these thoughts or would like to hear the thoughts and questions that others have for themselves. It’s generally noted that we have a death-denying culture here in the US and that this is true for many other countries, too. Enter  The Death Cafe– started by Jon Underwood and Sue Barsky Reid in London in September 2011. “At a Death Cafe, people, often strangers, gather to eat cake, drink tea and discuss death… Our objective is ‘to increase awareness of death with a view to helping people make the most of their (finite) lives’’” They’ve estimated that 6,289 Death Cafes have been held in 56 countries – approximately 63,110 people talking! “A Death Cafe is a group directed discussion of death with no agenda, objectives or [link to read more…]

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Living on Borrowed Time

Planning Ahead: The most important resource to know about

Thursday, April 26 – When I first heard about the Funeral Consumers Alliance, I was stunned. The FCA is an amazing national non-profit organization with volunteers forming 70 local chapters in 46 states. It has a long, interesting history, to be sure. But the reason the FCA is the most important resource you should know about is because of the wide range of ways in which they support you! They don’t provide financial support, but they do provide information and support for any other aspect of planning and carrying out a funeral, including information about related topics such as body donation. On both the national and the local chapter websites, you can find lots of information and you can also contact them by phone for help. In addition, the FCA monitors the funeral industry. They keep an eye on upcoming legislation that would affect consumers and they will assist you [link to read more…]

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Planning Ahead: picking a guidebook

Sunday, April 22nd – It’s officially the start of rolling up our sleeves to make and record our decisions.  We don’t have to start from scratch, though, since there are, oh, about 7,000 planning guides out there to choose from.  Today our job is to pick one out and get it in hand as soon as possible so we can keep moving along.  I think of planning guides as being like baby books – they come in many different styles and approaches.  Also – just like baby books, once you choose one, you still have to fill it out, which is not always easy.  But that’s what we’re doing together – no apologies will be necessary to your survivors-to-be.  Plus, filling out this guide we’re choosing now won’t stretch out in time.  Memorial Day will be here soon and we’ll be done! First decision – do you want to use [link to read more…]

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Planning Ahead: introduction

We’re all just trying to get the laundry done, as my friend, Betsy, says. We know it’s important to plan ahead for things related to dying, death, funerals and wills, both for ourselves, our parents and others we have responsibility for.  But so many, many things of all sorts get in our way! We’ll change that – by Memorial Day!   We’re picking Memorial Day as the timeline for this process because the first big tip the experts tell us is to STRUCTURE IT IN.   That is, by linking taking action to a specific date, it’s much more likely to happen.  It’s crucial to do this planning for ourselves and others once, certainly.  What we are doing right now is getting our plans in place by using Memorial Day as a deadline.  Then, once your plan is made keep reviewing the plan on a “structured in” basis – by revisiting your [link to read more…]

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