Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Annie Freeman's Fabulous Traveling Funeral

Well, it didn't really happen. It's fiction. But it could have. And Hollywood apparently likes it because it's already been optioned.

If you happen to read any of my articles at's 24-7 Family History Circle, you know I've been on a bit of a book binge lately -- and this is the latest one I greedily snarfed down.

This one was little tough for me initially. The first 40-50 pages or so were a little too fresh and close to reality, laced as they are with an abundance of references to cancer and hospice. But I stuck with it because, well, Kris Radish is a terrific writer and I figured it would be worth it. And it was.

This is the tale of a 50-something woman who dies from cancer -- but not before engineering a trip for a handful of her closest friends to distribute her ashes at a collection of places that meant the most to her. And in so doing, they rediscover her life and learn a lot about themselves. Not a bad idea for a funeral -- especially when the recently departed led such a full life.

It may sound like a downer, but it's not. Really, this book is about living. Perhaps it resonates with me because my sister and I plan on taking just a bit of our mom's ashes to the Baltics, the one place she regretted not getting to during her 7-continental tour of this planet. So I suppose I was already pro-traveling-funeral when I spotted this book. But still, I think the notion of celebrating a life so thoroughly will appeal to many genealogists -- who, in a sense, do this on a routine basis with their ancestors (just minus the ashes).


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