Nobody… okay, maybe .5 person per 1000 people, wants to plan their own funeral. But suppose it were a more popular project. Chances are one of the first questions would be “Where do I even begin?”

And right now we’re just talking about the service. I already tackled body disposition here, which is relatively straightforward. But if you want a creative send-off that has your personality in it (highly recommended), it’s not necessarily evident how you figure that out. We’re so brainwashed influenced by what’s traditionally done that it’s hard to know what’s even legal, never mind socially acceptable.

And you should never mind socially acceptable, because in this case, it just leads to same old same old, which leaves us exactly where we are with generic, lackluster rituals.

I put together some short prompts to stimulate some fresh thinking. Don’t belabor them, do it quickly and see what comes of it. If you feel like there’s more in there (your mind) that’s not coming to you, sleep on it. Journal about it if you’re a journaler. Looking through old photo albums is a surefire way to remember the varied bounty of your life’s experiences.

7 Questions To Jump Start Imagining Your Own Awesome Goodbye Celebration

  1. Three things I’m most proud of
  2. Three things that always make me smile/happy
  3. Three obstacles I’ve overcome
  4. Three fondest memories
  5. Three personality traits I’m most known for
  6. Three favorite hobbies or pastimes
  7. When I host a party or have people over, what’s it like?

Reverse Psychology Bonus question:

  • When I go to a funeral, what do I dread or dislike most?
    Point: Here’s your chance to do it differently at your own funeral!

Doing this exercise, whether you give it your all or do it kind of half-a$$ed (we’re not the funeral police here), should start giving you some rough ideas about what kind of theme or style you’d like to create. Because this is a creation! This is what we’re about: not just going through the motions of what is always done, but putting your life into your goodbye.

And maybe… what comes to you aren’t vague possibilities, but a brilliant vision! You can see and and feel how your life can be represented for your final bow. You know you’re on to something when you feel a tinge of excitement followed by the disappointing realization that you won’t, in fact, be there. But don’t let that stop you. That’s your sign that you’re on the right path. You’re designing a heartfelt, touching, and healing event for your friends and family.

That is your gift to them. Make it a nice big, generous gift. It can make all the difference in the world for them.