Betty Breuhaus
Publishing Works, Inc
Life planning

"Death...comes unexpectedly!"

I still remember that line from Walt Disney's Pollyanna even though I saw the movie in the early nineteen-sixties.

But, oftentimes, Death does come unexpectedly, so perhaps we'd better be prepared for it, and particularly the funeral.

"Your funeral service should be a reflection of who you were, the people you loved, what you believed in, what you accomplished, and what you did for fun."

This book will help you accomplish just that. Who says funerals have to be somber and morose? Rather, they can be joyful, affirming events.

Twelve sections deal with different aspects of the funeral with which you or your loved ones will have to deal; the sooner it's done before your death, the less stress will be faced all concerned.

1. Benefits of a funeral
2. Funeral homes
3. Disposition of the body
4. Cemetaries
5. Types of services
6. Fundamentals
7. Service basics
8. Service enhancements
9. Service accessories
10. Afterparty
11. Obituaries
12. Ethical wills

These chapters look at traditional and non-traditional funerals. I remember my father telling me that whenever someone in his family died (in England), the body would be laid out in the living- or sitting-room so that any and all could come to view the body and pay their respects.

The whole point of preparing beforehand is so that your presence will be felt even after you're gone, and "everyone who attends will...go away inspired to live a more worthwhile life."

"A funeral is a time for the significance of your life to be celebrated. So why not be the author of this celebration?"

Placed sporadically through the book are epitaphs taken from actual tombstones, many of them quite humourous in explaining the demise of the deceased (e.g. HENRY EDSEL SMITH Looked up the elevator shaft to see if the car was on the way down...it was). There are also some sidebars with 'odd deaths' and photos of unique headstones.

At the end of the book, the author has provided a personal planner based on each of the twelve chapters.

In all, it's an insightful, informative and inspirational read.

My personal suggestion: Betty should contact and go on tour with Julie Hall, author of The Boomer Burden. Each would certainly complement the other and brings valuable information to the public.