Which Do You Celebrate: Life or Death?

The latest From Left to Write Book Club selection, The Last Winter of Dani Lancing, by P.D. Viner, got me thinking about after a loved one dies how we remember them.

It seems to me that, at least in Western cultures,  you either mourn the loss of them in your life, or you celebrate the life they had before they passed.

While I understand that is is painful when a loved one dies, it seems to me that a much better way to remember a loved one is through a celebration of their life instead of a mourning of their death.

Once I die, I would much rather my friends and family gather on my birthday with good wine and good food and reminisce about “the good old days,” than gather on the day of my death and mourn the loss of me all over again with a somber bottle of booze, some flowers on a grave, and tears.

So, I am posting here my planning ideas for my funeral remembrance party if my loved ones would like to plan/partake in after I am no longer of this earth:

1)  No open casket. Please, no looking at the dead shell of the person I was. Instead, how about some great photos of me with family and friends, laughing and having a good time.


2) While we are on the subject of caskets, how about no casket at all. Really, who wants to be in a room with a dead body, much less a dead body of someone they knew and loved?

3) Good music. Play the 80s and 90s and dance! Rock out with some of my faves – 99 Luft Balloons, Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, really anything and EVERYTHING by Cyndi Lauper, Prince, any one hit wonder from the 80s, and all of the “hair bands” from the late 80s – Poison, Guns N Roses, Motley Crue, Cinderella, Ratt, Bon Jovi, Def Leppard, etc.

(no sappy ballads, please, I don’t care if they boosted album sales)

4) Good food. I would like lots and lots of good ole Cajun cuisine. Gumbo, crawfish etouffee, boudin, etc., and tons of yummy desserts. Let everyone remember and revel in my sweet tooth with an assortment of cheesecakes, truffles, cookies, and brownies. And, everyone HAS to eat dessert, just saying, in honor of my memory.

5) Story time. Everyone in attendance has to tell a story about how we laughed together; how I made you laugh or how you made me laugh.

Image(this would also be a good photo to have, see number 1)

6) Good drinks. Make it fun. How about a martini bar, or a margarita machine? Better yet, have the party catered by a daiquiri shop and everyone gets to mix and match their own 32 oz frozen alcoholic treat! (they must be from the state of Louisiana, or they are not really daiquiris).

(seriously, you have not lived until you have tasted an Attitude Adjustment daiquiri)

7) No crying. I repeat, no crying (please, if you can help it). If you have to excuse yourself from the room, then do so. This is a remembrance party, not a funeral.

How do you want to be remembered?


This post was inspired by The Last Winter of Dani Lancing, a novel by P.D. Viner

Twenty years ago, college student Dani was murdered but her killer was never found. Now a promising new lead may change everything. Join From Left to Write on November 7th as we discuss The Last Winter of Dani Lancing.

As a member, I received a copy in exchange for this post, but, for the record,  I couldn’t this put it down.



4 thoughts on “Which Do You Celebrate: Life or Death?

  1. Seriously, your funeral sounds like its going to be a blast. I think you consider having a practice party before you go, though, so you can be there to enjoy it as well. I do agree with the fact that somber funerals really are too focused on death and not all the joy one brought you in life.

  2. Pingback: Book Club Day: The Last Winter of Dani Lancing by P.D. Viner

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s