Museum CharlesSo… speaking of making sure your goodbye party includes the parts of your life that have made your life worth living, there are people already doing this without any prompting from somebody’s blog post. Check out this wonderful story.

“When Louise died in 2011 after 60 years of marriage, he decided…their love deserved more than a monument — what their love needed was a museum.”

Now that’s thinking big.

That’s acting from your heart rather than expectations or convention. That’s 1-upping conformity for the best of all possible reasons — because your heart longs for more.

When you’re planning your own in advance or planning someone else’s when their time has come, don’t start with what’s always been done. Go to your heart and see what lights you up, not what is simply adequate.

Dog lover? Sure, donations made to the local shelter are always helpful, but maybe getting a dog park built (or an existing one expanded or improved) is more worthy a project for someone’s life.

Dedicated volunteer? An entire DAY of volunteering — open to the whole community, and ending with a big party, seems only right.

Sports fan? Raise money to send an entire classroom of kids from a poor neighborhood to a professional ball game.

Major foodie? Designate a weekend where all food-eating friends and family agree to create fabulous meals, together in person or via Skype, sharing recipes, stories, and reminiscing. Have a theme, create a schedule, give out prizes… go all out and make it a weekend that no one ever forgets.

Devout churchgoer? I just today heard about a family doing this: Raise money and donate a beautiful chalice to a person’s church.

Broadway Show fan? Treat a deserving family member or friend to front row seats to a show and dinner afterward. Round up a group of 25 to all go see a show together. Host a party to raise money for a local playhouse.

Family Lover? Declare a “Family Day” for as many relative and friend families as you can, each committing to spend a fun day together in whatever way they want. Create a Facebook page or Instagram account for everyone to share stories and pictures. Have contests (Most Adventurous Activity, Largest Group, Smallest Group, Traveled the Farthest, Best Video, etc.), create a keepsake photo and memory book featuring how the dearly departed inspired this and will always be remembered.

There’s no particular rules for thinking big. It doesn’t have to help the world, it doesn’t have to achieve some big goal, it doesn’t have to do anything at all.

It’s a completely fabricated affair: an opportunity to express our love, show our gratitude, heal a little of our sorrow, and all-around acknowledge the difference we all make to each other…

And we make a HUGE difference to each other, so THINK BIG.

Build a darn museum if you feel like it.