Cover Image: It's Your Funeral!

It's Your Funeral!

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Member Reviews

For such a grave topic, this is quite a lively read. I appreciated the humor as a way of bypassing any fears of mortality the reader might face when dealing with a subject many people would rather ignore. There are many practical tips in here and it's such an accessible work. Highly recommend and already starting conversations about this with friends and family because of this book. 

Note: I voluntarily requested, read, and reviewed this book. Thank you to the author, publisher, and NetGalley for sending me a temporary digital advance reading copy/advance review (ARC) galley of this book in exchange for an honest review. As always, my opinions are my own and do not represent my co-host or the podcast. I request, read, and review many books prior to publication to explore possible future guests for the podcast. I wish we could interview the author of every one of these books because I'm so impressed by the creativity, thoughtfulness, and wisdom shared through the temporary books I get through NetGalley. I find the idea of simplifying any book into 1-5 stars to be quite silly and reductionist, so I don't participate in that game and instead, just give five stars to each book.
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This book by Kathy Benjamin combines some practical advice about planning for your death, with some humorous ideas and stories to make the process a little easier.  There is also information about the history of various burial traditions and celebrations, and many worksheets included for you to write down your own plans.

Part 1 – Your Body, covers the different options available to you for handling your body after death.  There is some background about historical traditions and how death has been handled by different cultures in the past, as well as descriptions of the pros and cons of various options.  There are chapters that discuss both common practices like burial and cremation; as well as less common options like cryonics, or being turned into a diamond or fireworks. 

Part 2 – It's Your Funeral, again discusses common traditions, but also identifies some creative ways to celebrate your life.  The author covers funeral roles, venues, music, themes, eulogies, and how to lighten the mood.

Part 3 – It's Your Legacy, deals with some practical issues like wills, monuments and digital assets; but also some less serious topics like “coming back to haunt someone”.

There are several worksheets in the book, that allow you write down all kinds of plans or wishes you might have for your remains, or the celebration of your life.  This might be one reason to consider purchasing the hardcover book over the digital copy, but of course you could also just recreate the worksheets yourself elsewhere.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book.  This approach to planning for your eventual death by looking at things with a slight sense of humor, makes it much more palatable.  The book discusses many possible decisions that make sense to consider while you're still alive, and adds in some laughs and some historical background as well.  I think that this was a wonderful idea, and appreciate the author for writing such a creative and positive book about a difficult subject.
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The definitive guide to planning your own funeral!  The perfect guide for helpful tips, guides to expenses and the levity it takes to even think about death. We're all going to go someday; might as well be on our own terms.
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Truly a fun read. It's one of those books that I think fans of My Favorite Murder would enjoy. It has a very Murderino vibe to it. The humor is dark without being hopeless, the advice is incredibly insightful, highly recommended. 5/5, 9/10.
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It’s the one conversation we should all have with our nearest and dearest. At the end of the day it means you get the send off you want. 
This is a fun little book. Told in a light hearted way what us a sensitive subject. Personally I like the idea of a mushroom suit myself. There are sections in the book for you to make your own notes.  
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for the opportunity to see an arc of this book.
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A few years ago my mother gave me a shock when she told me how she wanted her funeral to go and had it all planned out and written into her will. Having never given that much thought to dying I had no idea you could do that & it’s become something that has fascinated me since.

This book covers everything; things you’d expect such as burial versus cremation to what to do with the remains afterwards (so many options!) and things I never thought of at all such as your digital legacy (what to do with your twitter account for example) and whether your happy for selfies to be taken during the funeral. I’ve seen a lot of that about lately and quite frankly it weirds me out so ‘no selfies’ is going in my action plan for starters. That’s another thing I liked: that many sections have exercises to do so if you are serious about planning your funeral there are lots of good prompts to use.

It’s an American author but she regularly points out that what is allowed there may not be the same for your own country so for things that of interest best to check your countries rules. And a bonus point (probably because she’s American not British) for not including Robbie Williams’ Angel as a good funeral song. Genuinely hate that song and yet everyone seems to have it as their favourite. Really?? I’m having Highway to Hell as I go off into the fire….

Interspersed (big word for me) are short sections about cultural celebrations and funeral rites that are fascinating. We all do it differently and no one way is better than others. Also helps should you ever be invited to a funeral outside your own religion or culture. The tag line for the book is putting the fun into funerals and while it covers a serious topic and includes so much important information there’s a great informal way to the writing and it’s full of humour. For me, I like that. Hard enough trying to think about these things without having a dry, written text to go with it.

I love it. Quite simple. Especially after the last 18 months living through a global pandemic death and funerals is probably on a lot of people’s minds. We’re probably not used to having it in our faces quite so much as we’ve had lately. I imagine a lot of people are now considering their own mortality. This book does help. It’s packed full of information, questions to ask of yourself and the action plans to make sure you have full control of how you want your send off to go (or not if your into cryogenics & are planning on your big Vegas comeback). It’s helpful, it’s insightful and I will recommend it to anyone
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Since many people are resistant to having conversations about death and funerals, this book is a good option. It hits many of the important decisions regarding someone's passing, but with a more light-hearted tone than most literature. A good place to get started.

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Fun, informative and uplifting, this book covers a wide range of topics related to dying, including cultural and religious traditions,  cost and eco implications and songs/readings/epitaphs. 
It's written in a well considered tone -  not too serious but keeping things factual and as light as possible.  Highly recommended, perfect for opening up conversations with our loved ones about our final wishes.
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If you like Caitlin Doughty's death positive message then you'll appreciate this book.  You might even be able to get the more funeral squeamish people in your life to open up by sharing it.  It was a fun, light read about a heavy topic.
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Publish Date: August 16, 2021

Generally, people don't like to talk or even think about our own funerals. But it's such an important conversation to have and it doesn't have to be scary or depressing, as Kathy Benjamin so helpfully shows us in her book It's Your Funeral! This book is short and extremely readable, with moments that had me laughing out loud, and comes with blank pages to start outlining your ideas and plans for your funeral. I definitely think this is a good (and fun!) primer for funeral and death planning, and a good place to start when preparing to have those conversations with your friends and loved ones. 

Thank you to Quirk Books and NetGalley for the review copy.
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Putting the fun in funeral! This is a recommended purchase for all general nonfiction collections. Pairs well with Caitlyn Doughty's titles.
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