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Old 02-06-2017, 06:52 AM
10,265 posts, read 6,491,094 times
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Are people just choosing cremation and a private family service instead?

I had a former friend pass away in his sleep at 51, must have been a stroke or heart attack. He had a mini stroke once I believe, I know he had some long term memory problems. I moved 2 hours away from where he lived by car but was looking forward to saying goodbye to him and his MANY friends even at just a memorial. I think a memorial for friends will be in 2 months.

The mother of a childhood friend of mine passed away a few years ago and they also didn't have anything for her, just a cremation. She was in her 80s and had Alzheimers.

So is this a new trend not to have a conventional funeral?
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Old 02-06-2017, 06:53 AM
Location: North Beach, MD on the Chesapeake
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I don't think so. What has happened is that funerals have been renamed Celebrations of Life, among others. My favorite is Going Home service.
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Old 02-06-2017, 07:58 AM
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
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When my mother-in-law passed a few years ago, we just did the cremation and took the urn to the cemetery. No service of any kind, because at age 95, all of her family and friends other than us were already gone. Even so it was costly. The cremation was about $1,200, but with a pre-paid plot, the cemetery charged
$3,400 to dig the hole for the urn. Plus, the gas to drive down to California.
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Old 02-06-2017, 08:02 AM
10,265 posts, read 6,491,094 times
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Originally Posted by Hemlock140 View Post
but with a pre-paid plot, the cemetery charged
$3,400 to dig the hole for the urn. .
The cemetery should be charged with theft.
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Old 02-06-2017, 09:34 AM
3,962 posts, read 5,247,246 times
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I have seen very few Celebrations of Life. I do see memorial services pretty frequently. I think cremation is much more common than it used to be, so the funeral with the open or closed casket is less frequent. However, this could be a regional thing, and I'm just not aware of trends in places I don't live.
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Old 02-06-2017, 09:52 AM
Location: Columbia SC
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My wife spent some time working in the funeral business so I know some.

Pre-paid can be tricky. Typically the funeral home buys an insurance policy from one of several companies that sell them. In some cases the funeral home kept the money then later sold the business and the new business owner knows nothing about it. Many funeral homes are now owned by national companies who kept the original funeral home name. In this case the national company may not have gotten a piece of the pre-paid plan so they will do add ons to make it worth their while. Also some of the pre-paids do not come near to cover today's costs so many are looking to do add ons. Quite often you will hear: the pre-paid does not cover everything.

Cemetery lots cost money. After all, space/land is the only thing they sell. Rarely is the lot included in the pre-paid funeral plan. Some also have an opening/closing charge even when the lot was pre-paid for or for one that exists. Some funeral plans only cover a specific distance to the cemetery then they charge more.

Most ashes are kept in an urn at home by family or spread out somewhere. We spread one of my golf buddy's ashes on the golf course. Knew one person that had a sideline business of spreading ashes at sea.

My wife donated her remains to the local medical school, as have I. Within a few hours of being notified of her death, they removed the body. They will return the ashes at the end of one year if you request such other wise they take care of body disposal. They also have a memorial garden/sitting area one can visit and a yearly memorial service for those that have donated during the past year. One caveat. Most will only travel so far to get the body. Know of one case where the family had to ship the body from CA to MA on their dime. The medical school took over when the body arrived at the airport.

There is a "Green Cemetery" movement but I know little about it. Might be worth checking out.

Hope this information helps.
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Old 02-06-2017, 04:57 PM
Location: The house I built
308 posts, read 131,809 times
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My wife's ashes are in our living room in her cabinet with her collection of carousel horses. We had a memorial here at our house and her family helped with the photo's. We set up three walls for pictures of her life from childhood to present.

It was more than I could bare to look at them. This spring there will be a service to place her ashes in the wall at the veterans cemetery nearby. I will eventually join her in the wall. Her mother said she would like to have a service of some kind to do that. They were very close.

Eventually the horses and the cabinet will go to our daughters.
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Old 02-06-2017, 05:52 PM
Location: New Mexico
5,097 posts, read 2,913,065 times
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People move around so much that I think there are a number of alternatives now for a funeral than existed decades ago. When I was a kid the visitation alone was three days long. Add a mass or church service and graveside --- The cost is almost prohibitive for most people. It was a tremendous cost for my wife because we lived in one town with many friends and coworkers and our families lived in a second town 150 miles away where the cemetery was. We had to do both places with two funeral homes involved. I now live 1,000 miles away from that cemetery where there is a stone with my name on it...just waiting. I still have friends in that first town, relatives in the second and new friends in the third so a simple memorial service just makes sense.
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Old 10-11-2018, 03:38 AM
Location: Planet Woof
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My SO was cremated for $695. Her ashes are here in our home but eventually will be scattered with mine. No service, no marker. Just a return to nature out in the woods of a friend's farm. Dog ashes will go along with us.
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Old 10-11-2018, 05:09 AM
Location: Texas or Cascais, Portugal
3,043 posts, read 2,882,659 times
Reputation: 7254
I have had two aunts and an uncle pass in the last couple of years with no memorial, no gathering of any kind. Frankly I don’t understand it. I get that not everyone wants a funeral with a body in a casket but, to have a family member die and have no recognition of their life strikes me as sad. A memorial service gives people the chance to grieve, to support one another and, to acknowledge the deceased’s life. To cremate someone and have no gathering of any kind (to me) feels like this person’s life was not important. My dad died a couple of months back at age 94. Yes, he outlived many of his friends but still, there were probably 100 people at his funeral. Hearing stories about him from people I never knew or barely knew was fascinating.
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