Dad of Divas' Reviews: Book Review - A Good Goodbye: Funeral Planning for Those Who Don't Plan to Die

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Book Review - A Good Goodbye: Funeral Planning for Those Who Don't Plan to Die

About the Book
Just as talking about sex won’t make you pregnant, talking about funerals won’t make you dead’ – says Gail Rubin, author of A Good Goodbye: Funeral Planning for Those Who Don't Plan to Die (Light Tree Press). Rubin uses gentle humor to convey vital information about funeral arrangements that most people don’t learn until faced with a death in the family.

With chapters named Over My Dead Body, I Got It At Costco, and It's My Party and I'll Die If I Want To, Rubin has overcome society’s last taboo with a book like no other - a great resource minus the morbidity! Rubin’s book provides the information, inspiration and tools to plan and implement creative, meaningful and memorable end-of-life rituals for people and pets while taking the fear out of the subject of death.

Given the fact that only 24% of us pre-plan a funeral and less than 46% tell our family our final wishes – it’s evident we plan our finances, families and retirement, but rarely plan our funerals. Without end-of-life planning, all of life’s other plans can come undone. For this reason, October 30th is the designated date for Create a Great Funeral Day – an annual event started twelve years ago to remind people of the many benefits of planning their own end-of-life event.

Rubin’s new book, A Good Goodbye: Funeral Planning for Those Who Don’t Plan to Die, goes one step further with resources to help reduce family conflict, avoid stress at a time of grief, prepare directives, obituaries, eulogies, ethical wills, cards and thank-you notes, and save readers thousands of dollars in the process. She also presents background on many religious traditions and creative non-religious rituals – especially helpful for interfaith families.

This Doyenne of Death speaks to groups on funeral planning issues using comedy films to lighten the conversation. A Certified Celebrant and event planner, Rubin has been interviewed on television affiliates of ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox, as well as on public radio. Her book was a finalist in the Family & Relationships Category of ForeWord Magazine’s 2010 Book of the Year Award; has been featured in’s article ‘Weird Companies That Work!’ and quoted in a Kiplinger Retirement Report article ‘Selling a burial plot is a grave decision.’

During October, Rubin, like the characters in Harold and Maude, is attending funerals of strangers. Undertaking her second annual “30 Funerals in 30 Days Challenge,” she writes and does a video about each one on The Family Plot Blog. Rubin shares the creative ways people celebrate the lives of those they love and emphasizes that funerals are a life cycle event much like a wedding (and better if planned more than a few days ahead). Rubin sees this as a healthier way of dealing with death – “we know it’s going to happen to all of us some day so let’s make it more comfortable to talk about and plan for.”

For more information on this creative author, visit:

My Take on the Book
This book takes a look a topic that is not always talked about, but the author does it in such a way that she makes you laugh, as well as makes you feel like you can handle the situation of dying and death. She makes you understand the things that you need to consider when you are trying to make large decisions about funerals. She does this not only through laughter and humor though, she uses tact and compassion for the feelings and emotions that you are going through too. While this is a topic that most do not want to consider, the author writes this in such a way that you want to continue reading.

All opinions expressed in this review are my own and not influenced in any way by the company.  Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer or provider. Please refer to this site's Disclaimer  for more information. I have been compensated or given a product free of charge, but that does not impact my views or opinions.

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