Content here represents the voice of SIGNATURE SUNSETS, an informational initiative designed to broaden and brighten horizons in the funerary domain.

The material is an outgrowth of a pre-planning reference book, Pondering Leaves: Composing and Conveying Your Life Story's Epilogue, written by the author of this blog.


Tuesday, October 30, 2012



What’s so special about a special day?  Well, it imparts opportunity… a word and a concept generally pregnant with potential! 

Consider Halloween, for instance.  When the office manager announces that everyone is encouraged to come to work in costume on a certain day (although it’s optional), you have an opportunity to have fun by conjuring up and wearing something wacky rather than confining yourself to everyday attire that may render you a lifeless party pooper.  And think of Thanksgiving, which presents a golden opportunity to wallow in meal preparations, perhaps channeling an urge to dabble in new recipes, so that loved ones can gather round the table to “stuff their faces” and catch up on the latest gobbledegook. 

Yes, special days impart special opportunities.  Even incidental ones unknown to many can unlock portals of diversion and frolic.  Have you ever recognized Backward Day on January 31st?  Memorable moments can be grasped by writing, reading, walking, talking, and clothing oneself backward, as well as by reversing the sequence of meals and having dessert first.  There’s also Compliment Day on January 27th, Lips Appreciation Day on March 16th and Hot Tub Day on the 28th, followed by National Scrapbook Day on May 3rd, Hand Shake Day on June 28th, Build a Scarecrow Day on July 1st, Name Your Car Day on October 2nd, and Look For Circles Day on November 2nd.  These are but a few of a broad array of calendar days that can be acknowledged as intriguingly singular in some unique way. 

What does this digression have to do with end-of-life planning?   You may have guessed it!  Several years ago, Stephanie West Allen designated October 30th as Create A Great Funeral Day.  At first glance, people might snicker upon coming across this entry in a list of unusual holidays. But this appointed day for pre-planning is saturated with opportunity and purpose.  Its impact goes beyond embracing frivolous entertainment by reminding folks of the chance to take constructive action. Perhaps the conspicuous “O” at the beginning of this October day can reinforce the notion that it oozes with opportunity. 

So how about seizing a chance to become part of a community of foresighted planners on this novel occasion?   You might write a few end-of-life preferences on a scrap paper or in a computer file, or even initiate dialogue with family members at the dinner table.  Every year on this noteworthy date you could expand your wish list so that by the time your life ends, your companions will have substantial guidelines to follow.  It might even be motivating to feel like you are a contemporary trendsetter, realizing that folks in other parts of the country are similarly engaged on this particular day. 

There are so many choices in life!  You can either ignore this day of opportunity or you can embrace the important activity for which it was conceived.  And while you’re at it, add some “icing on the cake” by embellishing the process on November 2nd when it’s Plan Your Epitaph Day.   As you encounter this catalytic pre-planning opportunity, remember the words to Lee Ann Womack’s song, I Hope You Dance: … “Give the heavens above more than a passing glance… when you get the chance to sit it out or dance… I hope you dance.”

Happy Create A Great Funeral Day!

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