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, June 17, 2014



Have you ever hurriedly approached the drive-through lane at a fast food shop only to find a long line of cars in a funeral procession ahead of you?  What a whopper of frustration this brand of an unconventional bottleneck could cause!

Such a scenario that would seem unlikely actually occurred at a Burger King in York, Pennsylvania recently.  Before heading to a cemetery the hearse and cars following it pulled up to the window where each mourner was given a sandwich.  It wasn’t because everyone was famished.  The detour that broke from tradition was a personalized gesture that alluded to the decedent’s longtime habit of patronizing fast food establishments. To accentuate the point, a burger was placed atop the individual’s flag-draped coffin.  This unusual digression from the norm added flavor to the usual proceedings, bestowing upon guests memorable substance while alerting the media to a novelty deemed worthy of sharing with the world. 

Arrangements had been made with the restaurant crew so the sandwiches would be ready to be doled out.  The elderly man for whom this tribute was orchestrated had been a regular customer; the manager was familiar with his repetitive order.  Rather than having been contrived as a whimsical maneuver, the initiative was conceived as a way to honor the man and recognize an element of life that had been a pleasurable part of his lifestyle. 

During the same time period a commemoration took place in the New York village of Owego where a beloved firefighter was celebrated by a large gathering of people.  Many stories were shared, including one by a friend who related a favorite pastime of throwing toilet paper during younger days.  His commentary drew applause from the crowd, as people recognized the significance of the white toilet paper they had encountered earlier in the day on their way to the services.  It had been strewn in trees lining a street they had used to reach the memorial site.  Why?  Not for fun, but symbolically to spur recognition of a personal distinction that helped define the individual whose life had ended.

You may be surprised by funerary trends toward notions that bespeak individuality. Instead of old stereotypes, watch for new prototypes in the realm of memorial remembrances.  

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