Most of us are aware of the need to plan for major events– like a birth, a wedding, buying a house, etc. Yet so few people actually plan for death– and many try to avoid the subject all together. What is up with that? If you don’t deal with certain issues ahead of time, you are going to find yourself dealing with a crisis, or worse dumping the problem on your loved ones.

Today’s guest on my t.v. show, which will air next week, wrote a book “The Ulimtate To Do List When Your Loved One Dies.” Donna Vincent Roa did an incredible job of covering the entire process of dealing with someone’s death– and sadly her inspiration for writing the book stemmed from the sudden passing of her own mother. There are very few comprehensive resources out there that explain what you need to do, and as I read through her book it struck me that it is in many ways like planning a wedding, only you have 3 days to find the venue, caterer, florist, musicians, etc.

There is an incredible amount of work that goes into the celebration of one’s life, which is essentially how we should view a funeral. We all know it is inevitable, and if we care about making life easier for those we love, we can’t avoid this discussion. Her checklists are very helpful, but what fascinated me the most I have to say was this growing trend for a green funeral.  There is actually a Green Burial Council, and on their site they have a planning guide you can download to help plan a more environmentally-friendly exit.

Fortunately, I have not had to plan a funeral yet, but this book has given me a lot of food for thought, and I’m looking forward to when our segment airs next week. So many people want to avoid tough discussions, but if you love someone, you need to have these candid talks sooner rather than later. We never know when death will come knocking on our door, but we can be prepared, and hopefully we will choose not to shift burdens onto others with things in absolute chaos versus leaving here peacefully, with dignity and grace.

By Regina A. DeMeo, Esq.