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Who’s Supposed to Plan a Memorial Service Anyway?
Gail Rubin, The Doyenne of Death, Funeral Expert Gail Rubin, The Doyenne of Death, Funeral Expert
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: Albuquerque, NM
Tuesday, October 18, 2022


Who Plans the Memorial Service?

Dear Abby

Dear Abby

In this Dear Abby column, the writer, Disappointed Griever, is appalled that a now-deceased friend’s adult sons want others to organize a memorial service for their father. Abby provides some great guidance.

DEAR ABBY: I have a friend who had been ill for some time. Three years ago, two of his adult sons moved in with him because they’d been kicked out of their mom’s house. They never got jobs or paid rent.

My friend died a month ago, and now his sons and “companion” want all of us who were his friends to organize a memorial service. They claim they “don’t know how to do this kind of thing.” My friend also has two adult daughters and three grandchildren.

Isn’t it the duty of the surviving family members to do this? While I wouldn’t mind providing a list of his friends and phone numbers, I feel the sons are lazy and exploitative, and I’m very uncomfortable being asked to form a group and do a job they should be doing. I’m not going to participate, and I wondered what you think. — DISAPPOINTED GRIEVER

DEAR GRIEVER: I think you are absolutely correct. The honor of giving your friend a loving and respectful sendoff belongs with his family. By all means provide a list of those who would like to pay their respects. And, while you’re at it, suggest the person who contacted you reach out to his father’s religious adviser or a local funeral home for guidance.

Their claim of not knowing how to do this kind of thing (funeral planning) is understandable, as so many people haven’t had to plan a funeral in their life. I agree with the letter writer that it sounds like the sons are lazy and exploitative. And yes, they should turn to a local funeral home, or perhaps engage the services of a local Certified Funeral Celebrant, to help them figure out a meaningful, memorable “good goodbye.”

And if you need a cremation urn, cremation jewelry, or keepsake urns, check out A Good Goodbye’s Urn Store. At this online shopping site, you’ll find a wide selection of quality products, the same ones that funeral homes purchase. You can place your order through the secure site, or call 888-317-3099 and speak with a live person.

Gail Rubin, CT, is author and host of the award-winning book and television series, A Good Goodbye: Funeral Planning for Those Who Don’t Plan to Die, Hail and Farewell: Cremation Ceremonies, Templates and Tips, and KICKING THE BUCKET LIST: 100 Downsizing and Organizing Things to Do Before You Die.

Rubin is a Certified Thanatologist (that's a death educator) and a popular speaker who uses humor and films to get the end-of-life and funeral planning conversation started. She "knocked 'em dead" with her TEDx talk, A Good Goodbye. She provides continuing education credit classes for attorneys, doctors, nurses, social workers, hospice workers, financial planners, funeral directors and other professionals. She's a Certified Funeral Celebrant and funeral planning consultant who has been interviewed in national and local print, broadcast and online media.

Known as The Doyenne of Death®, she is the event coordinator of the Before I Die New Mexico Festival and author of a guide to holding such festivals. Her podcast is also called The Doyenne of Death®. She produces videos about the funeral business and related topics. Her YouTube Channel features more than 600 videos!

Rubin is a member of the Association for Death Education and Counseling, the International Cemetery, Cremation and Funeral Association, Toastmasters International and the National Speakers Association. Her speaking profile is available at eSpeakers.com.

Gail Rubin has been interviewed about funeral planning issues in national and local broadcast, print and online media. Outlets include The Huffington Post, Money Magazine, Kiplinger, CBS Radio News, WGN-TV,  and local affiliates for NPR, PBS, FOX, ABC-TV, CBS-TV and NBC-TV. Albuquerque Business First named her as one of their 2019 Women of Influence.

Sign up for a free planning form and occasional informative newsletter at her website, AGoodGoodbye.com.

News Media Interview Contact
Name: Gail Rubin
Group: A Good Goodbye
Dateline: Albuquerque, NM United States
Direct Phone: 505-265-7215
Cell Phone: 505-363-7514
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