Q: What is this book about?
A: It’s a collection of stories of non-traditional and unique memorial celebrations that are just starting to take place. It really demonstrates that there is a huge cultural shift from the traditional solemn services to the new wave of positive and personalized send-off celebrations and celebrations-of-life.
The stories are heart-warming, inspiring, and real. They clearly reflect the personalities of those who wanted a memorial that was joyful, even fun. Something positive. Something meaningful. Something personal.
There is also a Guide section to plan a personalized celebration-of-life event. It gives step-by-step directions, easy templates to fill out, and a series of pertinent questions to be answered.
Q: Why do you think anyone should read this book?
A: I think the stories will inspire people to do something meaningful and personal for their own memorial or celebration-of-life event. I believe the stories are a great motivator. I believe there will be many more creative stories to be told.
Further, I believe the Guide is important. It’s really unfair to leave all the important end-of-life decisions to a spouse or children, especially when they may be in a highly emotional state.
Who knows best all of the jobs you’ve had, and the hobbies you love? Why have someone else take two days to write your obituary when you can write it with a template in 10-15 minutes?
Why have someone else choose your music, flowers, location of your celebration event when you can make those decisions all ahead of time? Why put all that pressure on family members? Why not just fill out the survey and put everyone’s mind at ease?
Q: Well, I guess that makes sense!
A: Yes, and the book makes all these decisions not only easy, but also makes it a positive experience, not one to be dreaded and loaded with sorrow.
Q: This is an unusual topic, what made you want to write a book about this?
A: Well, I’ve been in the marketing and market research field for many years and most of my job responsibilities were to identify new trends and new directions in the marketplace among different demographic groups – Generation X, Gen Y, and specifically the Baby Boomers.
Q: Why are the Baby Boomers so different?
A: Baby Boomers have been setting social trends all their lives. When they were growing up in the l950’s, they revolutionized the music industry with Elvis and Rock ‘n’ Roll. In the sixties, they became young adults who shifted the culture to focus on the women’s movement, civil rights and the Vietnam War. So it’s not surprising that the first wave of the 78,000,000 are turning 70 this year, and they are making non-traditional decisions for the final stages of our lives.
Their parents were the Great Generation. They came home from World War II and settled down. They got jobs. They worked hard. They paid their bills. They saved their money. They followed the rules. And when they passed away, we gave them the serious, dignified, respectful memorial service they expected and clearly deserved.
Baby Boomers and many others, however, do not want any part of this. They do not want the suits and a somber, hand-wringing memorial service. They want their passing to be a celebration of life. A joyous event. Even fun! I truly believe that a huge part of the population does not want the same “send-off” that they gave their parents.
Actually, the book clearly shows that people of all ages and in all walks of life are joining in on this new cultural trend.