After a battle with pancreatic cancer, Aretha Franklin passed in her home in Detroit, on Thursday, August 16, 2018.

Music producer Clive Davis, who had been working on a tribute to Aretha, prior to her death, said, “I’m absolutely devastated by Aretha’s passing. She was truly one of a kind. She was more than the Queen of Soul. She was a national treasure to be cherished by every generation throughout the world. Apart from our long professional relationship, Aretha was my friend. Her loss is deeply profound and my heart is full of sadness.”

Celebrities, musicians, and leaders throughout the country such as Patti LaBelle, Diana Ross, Mariah Carey, Barbra Streisand, Stevie Wonder, Sir Paul McCartney, Dan Rather, Bill Clinton and Donald Trump have been paying tribute to The Queen of Soul, often referring to her as “a national treasure”.

Thursday night Ariana Grande gave a powerful, heartfelt performance of Aretha’s “Natural Woman”:

Though few of us achieve celebrity status, deep inside we all hope that at the end of our lives, those who have known us, will pay a fitting tribute to what we have been and what we have contributed.  We all want to be “a treasure” to someone.

Here are Seven Questions for your consideration. Perhaps these are questions you might want to answer in writing for your loved ones to have for the future.

  • How do you want people to see you?
  • What values have you held that people will remember about you?
  • What funny stories will be told at your memorial?
  • What message do you want your life to speak to others?
  • What is most important for people to remember about you?
  • To whom will you be remembered as “a treasure”?
  • Who cherishes and appreciates you?

For biography information on Aretha Franklin, go to:

We don’t like to talk about death.  Grieving is difficult.  Yet death and grief are a part of life.  For more information about the grieving process, please go to:

Discomfort with death keeps us from living fully.  If you are frightened by, struggling with, or wanting to avoid these questions, perhaps you might want to consider a consultation.

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