About 20 years ago Mark and I met Terry and Ellen Brennan, Paul and Cindy Whiteman and Dick and Patti Winsemius in our old neighborhood and today we all have a special bond. Our bond is special because we have celebrated life together. We’ve celebrated birthdays, weddings, Christmases and New Year’s Eves together, we’ve wept at funerals together and we’ve raised our kids together.
Even though we all have very different personalities and don’t always agree, we love each other like brothers and sisters.
Amongst these colorful friends is Ellen with her creative and crazy personality. Ellen loves to throw themed parties and some of her crazier ones have been a Who’s Your Daddy Party, the Gimme Awards, a Murder Mystery Party, an Art Prize Party and a progressive dinner party in which her guests have had to dress or play a part. Our kids have joined along to celebrate these fun events, too.
Now Ellen, Cindy, Patti and I are planning for another celebration, a funeral celebration. Yes, these three friends agreed to help me plan for the biggest celebration of my life, my funeral.
Many family and friends keep asking me what they can do to help and so I was honest with the three of them and asked if they would help me plan my funeral. During our planning sessions we’ve all laughed and cried but most importantly we’ve been able to spend time together.
Many people may think I am crazy for planning such a sad event or even talking about dying but let’s be honest, I have ALS. I want my funeral to be a celebration of my life so I am taking charge of the way I want it to play out with the main objective being to have a joyful celebration full of beautiful music so my family and friends can feel the love in the church on that day, my way.