I read Bob Butz's Going out Green some years ago (see the old post for my interview with Bob). What I remember after all the years between, years during which some member of our family regularly struck up socially unacceptable death conversations with complete strangers, is Mr. Butz's recommendation to plan your own funeral. This was the basis of his book. He is not a funeral expert, just a regular Joe in terms of death. So, shouldn't I, an instigator of such undesirable conversations, practice what I preach? Shouldn't I, the coffin maker's wife, plan my own funeral?
I don't see this as a morose project, or even a tempter of fate. Although there is potential for tears, I'm hoping a death plan can be as freeing as attending a funeral to celebrate life. Right now at least, I think that I'm planning this funeral to get the most out of life.
Merilynne Rush, a knowledgeable consultant on after death issues, is involved with southern Michigan Death Cafe gatherings. Death what? Yes, Death Cafe; at which people, often strangers, gather to drink tea, eat cake, and discuss death. Not grief support, but "to increase awareness of death with a view to helping people make the most of their (finite) lives," the organization's objective. In 2011, Jon Underwood and Sue Barsky Reid offered the first Death Cafe, which swiftly spread across the world. After liking Death Cafe on facebook, I found an article whose title summed this whole process up for me: "Death needs a plan similar to childbirth." At least I know I'm not alone in this mental realm of curious, contented death contemplation.
Here's to happy death planning.
|(Chid induced and captured expression of doubt.)|