David Cravit Pre-Planned with Dignity Memorial

Name: David Cravit

Age: Old enough for this to be a topic; young enough to believe I’ve got plenty of time before it will happen.

How Zoomers know you: I’ve written two books on the reinvention of aging [The New Old and Beyond Age Rage]. I work at ZoomerMedia and am on the Board of Directors of CARP.

I hope my grandchildren will read my books and not laugh!

Have you ever considered pre-planning your funeral? Not until now.

Who did you meet with? Marc Stipani from Delmoro Funeral Home

Tell Us About Your Experience: Fascinating and inspiring. Working with Marc opened up lots of new questions, and also made me realize that “celebrating” rather than “mourning” is an increasingly frequent and powerful reality as more people live longer.

What kind of event did you plan? It will be very family-centered, and for that reason I didn’t lay out a lot of details… just yet, because I’m convinced that a good number of people who may want to “celebrate” my life aren’t even born yet!

My celebration will be focused on family.

Did you learn something new about yourself? I think it confirmed that I’m an optimist. I seriously intend to blow past the age of 100 and it’s interesting to think about today’s events and experiences in the context of what will be remembered and celebrated then.

What struck you most about the experience? The instant attitude difference in the thought process. Suddenly, I see my loved ones attending a celebration of a life, rather than a “funeral.” Funeral is, by definition, narrow and technical; it’s a procedure. A celebration of a life lived is not only for that moment but is something that can continue on.

I continue to add to my plan as time goes on.

Would you recommend pre-planning your funeral? Absolutely. Planning the procedural part is a kindness to your loved ones; it relieves them of having to cope with all those details unexpectedly. Planning the celebration part can be a wonderfully creative and life-affirming.