My friend T's mom has her funeral all figured out. Okay, maybe not down to how the program will look, but I'm pretty sure she has all music and floral arrangements decided on. Did this alarm me when I first heard about her plans? Not at all. I thought - what a smart idea and a great way to work in another fabulous party for your loved ones. T and I have a sense of humor about everything, which some of you may not. But after attending several funerals/memorial services, we realized that the zest for life that so many of our loved ones had is all but erased by sadness and tradition when you have gathered, to in fact, celebrate the person. We have given each other instruction (still yet to be written down, but there has been many discussions) on what to do in case the other person goes first. I have instructed T that she will need to bring Sprinkles Cupcakes and set up a lovely dessert buffet complete with champagne cocktails. T, knowing she will get better coverage if there are some names in the crowd, has instructed me to have Adrien Brody attend (although he hasn't been in anything of note recently and I'm going to suggest she reevaluate). I am still working out my play list but am going for a loungey, hip, urban feel. T has set aside a nice selection of family photos to be worked in to a montage set to a moving medley by Johnny Cash. So, one day I was watching the Today show and there was a segment that came on about a book called Grave Expectations - Planning the end like there's no tomorrow. Meredith Vierra asked the guests how the book came about and when I heard what the authors had to say, I knew that I would have to get this book. One of them said, "We had been to one too many funerals that were just deadly, with bad food and this isn't the person we knew. So we went home and had some champagne and thought we have to do something about this." YES! These ladies really understand what a funeral should really be about - celebrating the life of the person that we are bidding farewell to. Aside from being funny and a bit tongue in cheek, they seem to know their stuff. They detail all kinds of burial options, including "green" methods, and creative grave stone markers. They handle all of this information with humor and charm which many people need when discussing this very sad topic. I can't wait to read the chapters called "Graveside Services: Location, Location, Location," "The Rehearsal Dinner - You really can attend your own funeral...sort of," "The Funeral or Memorial Party - It's my party and I'll die if I want to." T and I have decided that our 50th birthday parties will actually be a dress rehearsal for the big day (funeral). We'd like to see people enjoying themselves while they remember the fun and silly sides of us while we are still around. It will also give us a chance to see what works and what tweaks need to be made. If you think about how much time you spend planning a first birthday party, it makes sense that you should spend a little time planning your farewell party. This book is available online at Amazon, or online and in stores at Barnes and Noble. Check out the today show clip here. You don't want the last party thrown in your honor to be one you wouldn't be caught dead at, do you?