People have a hard time wrapping their heads around a whole new way of doing funerals. They catch on quick to celebrating over being morbid, or telling happy stories instead of just crying. And as I describe my crusade for planning YOUR OWN in advance, people assume that includes ME carrying out that fantastic plan.

Nope. Just nope.

It’s actually against this whole philosophy. I’m not being lazy. It’s just totally antithetical to the point of having a truly personal sendoff.

You get your ideas written down… be they a couple of vague, general suggestions or an item-by-item ironclad you better do exactly this or I’ll haunt you set of instructions. Either one works. All that matters is that YOU are represented as most YOU you can be.

And what matters second-most is that your family and friends get to carry out your wishes. ‘Cause that’s where the juice is. That’s where the bonding, healing, peace, and smiles come in. You leave them a request, and they fulfill it, as the very last gift they can give you.

Personally, I’m of a homemade, DIY, wing-it-if-you-have-to, roll-up-your-sleeves and jump in kinda gal. And when saying goodbye to our favorite people is what’s at hand, I stand by the power of doing as much of it yourselves as you can. The less you contract out or hire someone else to do, the more you get to feel, go deep, and experience all the emotions of saying goodbye.

Losing people we adore is the worst life hands us. It’s messy and sad. It’s horrid, the worst, and the most awful event. And yet not running from it is how you experience the grace to endure.

And just one aspect of that is taking back control of how you say goodbye. In your style, in a way that is meaningful to you.

I’m never short of ideas for how to celebrate in unique ways, and brainstorming how to best remember and honor someone — ideally, yourself — is the bomb.

And the icing on that cake is keeping it all in-house: engaging, involving, sharing, and personally having a say, a hand in, and a stake in the whole blessed event.

Do it all yourselves, my friends.