The Ultimate “Z” – the Obituary

Having spent my career focusing on the final outcome goals of our marketing campaigns (which I call the “Z”) – I have been noticing lately that creativity has come to the obituary pages.

• A woman who spent her career as a meter reader had one installed as part of her tombstone – it read “Expired”

• A scientist had his age listed in his obituary as 83.4 years

• A writer penned a letter dated the day of her death that began, “Dear Friends, I died today, I will miss you.”

Funeral homes too are adding celebrations to their list of offerings. The AARP magazine had a recent headline that proclaimed: Funeral Homes – The New Party Spot. The story inside went on to give examples of a national trend to use the local funeral “parlor” for festivities – life celebrations like birthday parties, anniversaries and more.

The spokesperson for the National Funeral Directors Association said as recent as 2007 it was unheard of to have non-funeral events, but nearly 9% she said are now opening their facilities to these “multi-use” opportunities.

Last year my own Mother and my wonderful Mother-in-law died and so in their honor, on Mother’s Day, my husband and I did what they would have done – we each had a big slice of chocolate cake.

Guess the question we should all ask is “why not?” Life is certainly a cycle and all phases deserve to be acknowledged however we each choose.

This is also a marketing lesson – what have we been doing the same for years, that might just be the opportunity for tomorrow?

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