Sometimes, families avoid the idea of funeral planning because they’ve never experienced an uplifting memorial event. Baby boomers are changing all that.
It’s no secret that what I call “The Silver Tsunami” is challenging aging in America. This giant demographic wave of 63 million baby boomers is getting ready to crash into funeral services, altering this life cycle event as they changed weddings and births.
Over the past two years, I’ve undertaken my own personal challenge to attend 30 funerals in 30 days and write about each on The Family Plot Blog. These funerals and memorial services provide a cutting edge look at how families currently celebrate the lives of those they love.
The third “30 Funerals in 30 Days Challenge” in 2012 has just started. My goal this time around is to focus on those who are closest to my own age – 54 – to witness and report on how baby boomers are changing funeral service. The project runs from mid-August to mid-September.
The goals for the “30 Funerals in 30 Days Challenge” are to:
- Illustrate the many creative ways people celebrate the lives of those they love and how baby boomers are changing the funeral business.
- Help reduce a fear of talking about death – something that will happen to all of us.
- Show that funerals are a life cycle event much like a wedding, best planned more than a few days ahead of time.
The focus on baby boomers came from the last funeral in last year’s challenge. The memorial service for Erika Langholf (who died at age 53) was so joyous and creative, I decided to document funeral services for people in their 50s and 60s.
Sneak peek at Day One: a homegrown funeral and burial. The son washed and dressed his father’s body and buried him on Dad’s property under his favorite Ponderosa pine. Dad was just a few years older than the oldest of the boomers, but this memorial service was reflective of the Age of Aquarius.
Gail Rubin is a Certified Celebrant who brings light to a dark subject and helps get funeral planning conversations started. She looks forward to presenting “Laughing in the Face of Death: Funny Films for Funeral Planning” at the 2012 AAEPA Fall Summit in San Diego. Her award-winning book, A Good Goodbye: Funeral Planning for Those Who Don’t Plan to Die, is available in print and ebook formats at Amazon.com, Barnes&Noble.com, and at AGoodGoodbye.com.
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