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The Party of Your Life: Get the Funeral You Want by Planning It Yourself Paperback – October 15, 2011

11 customer reviews

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The Party of Your Life: Get the Funeral You Want by Planning It Yourself + Celebrating a Life: Planning Memorial Services and Other Creative Remembrances + How to Plan a Celebration of Life Memorial Instead of a Funeral: A Practical, Step-by-Step Guide to Planning A Respectful and Loving Memorial Service
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Erika Dillman's sharp and witty humor reminds us that death is a sure thing in this lifetime, and the more one prepares and shares their desired wishes, the more we honor our beloved dead in their final farewell." —Nora Cedarwind Young, certified death midwife, green burial educator, and hospice chaplain

"Erika Dillman has written a witty and humorous book on a topic that some people find fearful and morbid, and she conveys vital information in an easy-to-digest manner that includes humorous real-world examples." —Donna Belk, celebrant, home funeral guide, and board member of the National Home Funeral Alliance

"A fun read. . . . Dillman offers a wealth of information and allows the reader to choose his or her own farewell." —www.AmericanChronicle.com (November 2011)

About the Author

Erika Dillman plans on living to 100, but started planning her own farewell fiesta at age 40 to make sure she gets the funeral she wants and deserves. She is the author of 10 books, including Outdoors Online: The Internet Guide to Everything Wild & Green and The Little Yoga Book, The Little Pilates Book, and The Little Strength Training Book from the popular “Little Book” series. She wishes she lived in London and wintered in New Zealand.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 264 pages
  • Publisher: Santa Monica Press (October 15, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 159580062X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1595800626
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #953,311 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Jeff Eisenbrey on January 7, 2012
Format: Paperback
I first picked up Erika Dillman's book at a party and my wife took it out of my hands because I'd become anti-social. Dillman was the most interesting person in the house. What was I to do? I bought the book.

The funniest people are those who know too much about how people are, and on the subject of kicking the bucket people are, well . . . funny. The author finds a lot of material here and clearly has a blast with it. Reading her book is a rare combination of laugh-out-loud funny and revelatory. It turns out that there's a lot to know about the handling of corpses, emotions, relatives, and legal matters. Dillman has done her research and she delivers it in a wry and lively package.

The best part, for me, was having my imagination shoved out of the nest to flap around party planning. Themed funerals?! Really?! Cool! Decorations, dress-up, music, those choice last words. Read it with your spouse. Visit with your favorite fading relative and you'll have a lot to talk about. Or you could leave it out at a party and see what happens.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By F. Korengel on January 9, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a recent cancer survivor, I would not even consider the thought of not making it through treatment. Now that I'm on the other side of survival, I see the benefit to having a plan in place. Erika Dillman's approach in "The Party of Your Life" is informative and fun at the same time. The idea of actually tailoring your own memorial may be novel to many of us, but Dillman gives examples of those who are taking the bull by the horns and making their funerals reflect their personalities. As someone who has sat through more cookie cutter Catholic wakes and masses than she can remember, this is a game changer!
There are real life plans scattered throughout the book. Dillman helps with ideas for who to name to your "funeral posse", picking food or a signature drink, creating a playlist of meaningful music, and many green burial options. Even reminders to check with authorities before starting that funeral pyre are helpful (and now I know I need to check into how to get my husband's body to the Ganges River in India as he desires)! The book is written with a lot of wit, helping to alleviate the unease with which we tend to view our mortality. It's not often you can read a nonfiction book that imparts useful information in an entertaining way, but "The Party of Your Life" fits that category perfectly!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Katie Yates on January 5, 2012
Format: Paperback
I come from a tradition which emphasizes that 'death comes without warning' and thus the beautiful humor and specificity of Erika Dillman's 'The Party of Your Life' as a fearless and compassionate, completely helpful adventure into what happens next. A must read. A must have.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mrsknowitall on December 24, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Okay, I know this may seem a morbid subject for a book but let's face it, we're all going to die. So why not pre-plan your own funeral and at the same time eliminate your survivors from the shock and chaos caused by your death? Maybe you want a funeral with guests weeping and telling the survivors how natural you look; or you prefer a New Orleans type funeral with everyone marching around the room to the music of "When the Saints Go Marching In," or maybe you'd rather not even have a funeral. Whatever you chose, The Party of Your Life:. . . "is for anyone who wants to say goodbye in his or her own special way."
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Nine Harmonies on April 20, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book helped me to see many possibilities for funerals that I never would have imagined. I got inspired and made my "funeral box." The book was fun to read.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By beatlesfan on January 9, 2012
Format: Paperback
Erika Dillman's book The Party of Your Life is a wonderful discourse on what most people consider The Event Which Shall Not Be Named. The end is, as we all know, inevitable. So why not make happen the way you want it to happen? This book truly does put the "fun" in funeral--by ripping the taboos away from the subject she makes it approachable and will likely allow many people a conversation opener about a subject that is challenging at best.
With personal anecdotes, sample funeral plans and a warm, friendly style of writing Dillman provides not only an alternate viewpoint to the subject of funerals but a very organized planner for the event.
I come from a big Greek family where discussion of funerals is taboo and offends the superstitious, where funerals continue the ancient traditions of elaborate lamentations, where planning is just not done--this book tosses that thinking aside and brings a new focus to going out in style.
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