I had a lively, in-person, fun-funeral-planning gathering this week in someone’s home, complete with wine, brownies, and a roaring, crackling fire going in the den. We narrowly averted a couple of accidental cremations, but that can happen when you’re living on the edge of alternative funeral talk and sitting too close to the fireplace. Lots of good, shared stories and fun ideas. Here’s two of the best, from Donna, the host of the evening herself.

GOOD STORY. More accurately, could be called Good Story/Bad Story, but because she has a great sense of humor, it got a thumbs up. Scene: The church at her late husband’s funeral. He died young and unexpectedly, so she wasn’t at all thinking straight. The funeral home took on the task of putting together the photo display. She walked into the church to see beautiful shots of each of her children with her husband, and a centerpiece display of a large framed photo of him posing with a wax figure of Sophia Vergara… and none whatsoever of her. She said she just burst out laughing because it was so crazy. It tickled her funny bone (thankfully), but there you go. That’s what happens when someone you don’t know plans a goodbye. Don’t let this happen to you.

FUN IDEA. She wants a Kielbasa Truck at her goodbye. Insists on it. An absolute must have. Her family will have a great time getting that accomplished (hopefully [it must always be said] far, far in the future). It will be so memorable, so her, and the epitome of what I Want a Fun Funeral is all about.