Death planning now includes options like buying your coffin at your favourite retailer, purchasing jewellery keepsakes that hold a loved one’s ashes, and even treating mourners at your funeral to ice cream.

For my final blog of the week, I thought that it would be appropriate to discuss Death Planning. In my limited experience, I recognize an ingredient of success is the ability to adapt to change.   Changing ideas about traditional funeral and burial practices are bringing change to this industry. A recent article in the New York Times by Gabrielle Glasser discusses personalizing your funeral service. 

Despite being in financially weary times, Glasser notes that your funeral is your last chance to be a big spender. Peter Moloney and his six brothers own six funeral homes on Long Island and have catered to customers who wish to have a customized send-off. For instance: “Bike lovers pay an extra $200 or so to take their last ride in a special hearse towed by a Harley-Davidson motorcycle. Gardeners select wildflower seed packets to include with their funeral programs. One gentleman wanted to be remembered for comforting his grandchildren with ice cream, so, after the funeral, mourners were greeted by a man in a Good Humor truck, handing out frozen treats.”

I have yet to hear of a funeral home that caters to customized send-offs north of the border, but I presume that we may be a little bit more reluctant to abandon our traditional religious funerals in favour of secular ceremonies.

Before I sign-off, I would like to point out that tonight is the final game of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Two of the greats will be playing tonight for Pittsburgh, Sid the Kid and Evgeni Malkin. If you tune in tonight, I am sure that you will get the opportunity to see them outskate the older, and slower Detroit Red Wings. Looking on with anticipation…

Go Pittsburgh!

Rick Bickhram