Organize your memorial service

Enjoy the leftover Halloween candy and get busy. Or, better yet, pour a glass of wine, put out the chips, invite friends and/or family over and plan your Memorial Service. If you are not that social, just pour the wine and do it yourself.

First, order and complete the checklists in the very helpful publication, Before I Go You Should Know produced by the Funeral Consumers Alliance. Go to Order the newly-revised edition; hard copy is $15 with free shipping, or download for $9.99.

Second, invite your family and friends. Choose the wine.

Third, plan your Memorial Service. Here’s a checklist for you:

  1. Where do you want your cremated remains or your body to go?
  2. Do you have a preference for a coffin or an urn? Or just a plain pine box, or the standard box used for cremated remains?
  3. If you’re going to be buried, what should your headstone say? (My father said he wanted his to say, “See, I told you I was sick.”)
  4. Where should your memorial service be held? A VFW post? A favorite restaurant? Your home? Severance Hall or the Art Museum? A park? What is the alternative in inclement weather?
  5. Who should lead the service? Who should speak – or not speak?
  6. What poems, passages, letters or personal stories should be read/told?
  7. What music should be played? Who should sing or perform?
  8. Do you want to give something to your mourners? Packets of flower seeds, sapling trees, books, music recordings, a shot of good whiskey, some of your cremated remains?
  9. What food should be served? Where? Who should prepare it? A caterer, the church ladies, your family?

It’s the Party of Your Life, a Celebration of YOU !

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