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Old 08-06-2011, 10:19 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
14,018 posts, read 17,751,136 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ellwood View Post
Family, from g-g grandparents, g-g aunts and uncles all are buried in family plot in cemetery. I turned over my share of the plots to a cousin, as I don't plan to have a funeral and be buried there.

Two weeks ago a friend passed away, funeral cost $10K (closed casket and cremation); $3K for luncheon following. What is the point? To see how popular you were depending on how many people showed up?

I don't want any hoo hah, just a cremation and ashes in the ocean in Maui. Burying so many relatives the expense to me is ridiculous. I'm dead, the funeral is for the living. My philosophy is "visit me while I'm alive, don't bother when I'm dead."
Agree that the prices you quoted are absurd. However, there is a vast middle ground between nothing and way too much. What I mean by that is that for many survivors, having a formal service of some kind, even a memorial service after the burial or cremation has taken place, is deeply meaningful and helps them with a feeling of closure about the death. Often relatives come from out of town, and other friends show up, and that can be meaningful too. I can't imagine not having had a service for my mother and my father (although his then wife was in charge of his). And I now regret not making more of an effort to attend services for some of my aunts and uncles where geographical distance (about 2,000 miles) and work repsonsibilities were complicating factors.

I do recognize and accept that not everyone feels the way I do about it.
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Old 08-06-2011, 10:34 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
14,018 posts, read 17,751,136 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SCGranny View Post
My father (in his retirement years) managed a cemetery. He bought two side-by-side plots, one for him, one for mother. He prepaid for everything with an insurance policy; even had the headstone erected 10 years before his death with everything but the 'death dates' engraved. He had everything written down; what he wanted, what he didn't want (his mortician friends had a booklet). Naturally my mother and two brothers, after hs death wanted to change everything. My mother hated my father and tried to cut down expenses to the bare bones so she could get more back out of the insurance policy, one of my brothers was angry that he wasn't getting half of the estate and left early, the other tried to tell the mortician that Dad deserved a more expensive casket. With everyone squalling and fighting like cats, my DH and I walked in and told everyone bluntly to shut up. We went over the plans dad had made with the mortician very carefully, making him explain to my mother that Dad couldn't be buried in a pine box with no vault just to give her more money. We told both of my brothers off; one that the estate was ONLY split if BOTH parents died, otherwise mother got it all, and the other that if he wanted the blue casket with the embroidered silk, HE could pay the upcharge.

So even though Dad had planned very carefully and made all of the arrangements, the family did all that they could to make it a difficult and horrible experience. (Then they wondered why I wouldn't live anywhere near any of them.) When mother finally died, I was nowhere around and my brother made all of the 'arangements' - no funeral, no viewing, no wake, no casket, no flowers, nothing - he even tried not to contact us (so our friend the mortician told us) so he could keep "all the money". What he didn't know (and I did) was that mother had gone thru all of the money the first year after Dad died, and then invested in psychics and scam artists who accessed her checking and savings accounts and cleaned them out regularly of even her SS checks. (She always insisted that the bank tellers were stealing her money.) No she didn't have Altzheimer's, she was always an idiot. My brother had her cremated because it was cheapest, and then called me three months later to tell me that the mortician still had the ashes, did I want them? I said NO. He wouldn't even pay the piddling $75 out of her insurance to open the plot and put her in next to Dad.

We just moved to Nebraska 3 years ago, and are buying plots in the local cemetery ($500). We plan on both being cremated and having a small stone over us together, just like Dad did. Except we still like each other and want to be 'planted' next to each other! Although I have often joked that I wanted my ashes scattered in the apple orchard; it would give "Mom's Apple Pie" a whole new meaning!
Well SCGranny, I see you continue to demonstrate your remarkable talent for writing the most interesting post in a thread! What a fascinating little family tome, which certainly illustrates my third point in the OP (at least I think it was the third, about family dynamics being a complicating factor). And it shows us that trouble can still come despite all the pre-planning and pre-paying we can do. I am grateful that my sister and I were in a mode of full cooperation by the time of our mother's death. We had spent a lifetime of squabbling, which had fortunately played out by that time.
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Old 08-06-2011, 03:23 PM
 
Location: University City, Philadelphia
22,592 posts, read 12,346,799 times
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Funerals are for the living, not the dead.

I want an in-ground burial with a modest funeral and a granite monument because that is part of my family tradition, our religion's tradition, part of ethnic and historic heritage. Besides burial grounds are useful to future historians and anthropologists.

When my best friend died at age 41 over a dozen years ago I was the executor of his estate. I am quite sure he would have been satisfied with a cremation and no funeral service whatsoever. We, his friends and family loved him (his premature death was a profound loss to us) and we had a proper and beautiful -- YES! funerals can be beautiful -- funeral. The casket, flowers were lovely but much under the average cost, I think the whole funeral cost about $6,000 (he was buried in a family plot so that cost nothing except to dig the hole). We did it for us, not him. It helped us achieve a sense of closure and we think it was an honorable thing to do. Even today we remember what a lovely time we had.
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Old 08-06-2011, 05:18 PM
 
9,688 posts, read 15,878,502 times
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For those of you who say they "don't care" what is done with their remains, do remember, someone is stuck with your carcass---WTH are they supposed to do with it? short of walking away and not claiming it, they have to do something.

At least CARE enough to leave some sort of instructions, and some funds. don't stiff your family with your remains!

It isn't too expensive to at least get a simple burial policy. Those that say "just" cremate me, well, that option is cheaper, but not free. It cost money, from the minute someone dies, until their remains are desposed of somehow, someway.

Look, my uncle just died yesterday. From the minute he died, its been one cost after another for my cousin and family. Charge to store a dead body in the hospital, then charge to transport it to a funeral home or crematorium, then, charge to cremate, then, charge to transport the remains somewhere, then, charge for a place to stash the ashes, then, transportation for all relatives involved. That doesn't include anything "fancy" like flowers, service, luncheon, hey, it even costs for songs, organist---you pay the fat lady to sing!



I get so tired of people saying oh, don't do anything "fancy" for me, "just" cremate me, well, do you think that's free? Look, my miserable MIL will probably be the next to go, she doesn't have a cent for burial, no life insurance, no "estate" so, guess we will be stuck with the costs? No......we will just walk away, look, we can barely afford to live, let alone bury the dead.

Plan your own damned final expenses, don't think just saying oh, cremate me, takes care of things. As far as I'm concerned, they can throw her carcass in the trash, I have my family, my kids to provide for, their college education, or her carcass? Well, lets think long and hard over that.............its YOUR carcass YOU decide and PAY for its disposal
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Old 08-06-2011, 05:20 PM
 
9,688 posts, read 15,878,502 times
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YOu can buy caskets at Costco
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Old 08-06-2011, 06:22 PM
 
9,688 posts, read 15,878,502 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Americanwoman54 View Post
This thread got me thinking as I still have remorse over what happened at my mother's death. The only family she had was my brother and me; I found her dead in her sleep and my brother flew from Oregon. There was a will but no instructions as to what she wanted and there was no plot next to my dad in Chicago. SO we opted for a cremation, but no service as she didn't have too many friends here as she was a fairly new transplant. BUT what will forever live with me is that I didn't opt to even say goodbye as I didn't think I could face seeing her again knowing that would be the last time; my brother didn't either as he said he wanted to remember her as he had last seen her a week before at Christmas. BUT really due to that decision, I had no closure, and I still mourn that fact.

SO on my "to do" list for next year when I retire, I am going to pay for a pre-planning cremation service with instructions, so my kids do not have to worry about it. I looked at some of our funeral parlors here, and I can get it done nicely for under 1,500 and have my ashes spread over the ocean that I love.

How touching----just how do you think those ashes will be spread over the ocean? someone has to do it, hire a plane, or boat, that costs money......are you leaving money for that? also, that someone probably has to take off work, and travel to the "ocean"

I wish people who have such romantic ideas of how they want to be buried would leave the proper funds and instructions, and rralize exactly what they are asking, step-by-step, not just some romantic idea.
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Old 08-06-2011, 10:50 PM
 
Location: Sierra Vista, AZ
16,133 posts, read 20,833,904 times
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I had purchased a Burial Plan for my Mother and it actually turned out better than planned. They arrainged for an exchange of grave plots from PA to Florida and covered almost everything, including shipping the stone. I was pleasantly surprised
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Old 08-06-2011, 11:50 PM
Status: "Support the Mining Law of 1872" (set 14 days ago)
 
Location: Cody, WY
9,586 posts, read 10,939,614 times
Reputation: 19234

‪Oh Bury Me Not - Sarah Harmer‬‏ - YouTube
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Old 08-07-2011, 12:27 AM
 
1,785 posts, read 3,023,721 times
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With two very elderly parents (both who are ill), I'm in the early planning stages now. Personally, I always wanted to have a lovely mausoleum erected to hold 4 of us. After hearing the cost, however, I quickly rid myself of that idea (around $400k). As with another poster on this thread, family heritage, religion, customs, etc. dictates a 2 day wake (although more are now opting for 1 day only), funeral mass, cermony at gravesite, followed by a meal. Like others, my parents also have made no plans - so it will fall to me (as the only surviving child).

My understanding is that, for the two of them at seperate times, the total cost will be somewhere in the region of $45k. Interestingly enough, my local library is actually holding a "Pre-Planning Your Funeral" class (gruesome, I know) which I plan to trot along to. I'm one of those people who have no problem in discussing the topics of death and funerals. Unforunately, my parents were my polar opposites! I also believe that cemeteries are a fascinating walk through history and therefore have no problem with eventually ending up in one.

Funeral services are very definitely for the living - but within my culture, it is also a mark of respect for the dead and a marking of a life's last ritual. It IS costly. It is something that each individual should certainly try to address themselves and ensure that they have left proper funds so as not to burden their survivors. I'm also aware of the dangers of trying to deal with all the arrangements while in a highly emotional state. That's the time where you end up buying the high-end cadillac of coffins, the foolish looking floral displays, the line of limos for transport, etc.

And one last thing to those who are in favor of having their ashes tossed upon the oceans or mountains, for the last 20+ years I've gotten a great deal of comfort during some very hard times by simply driving out to my brother's grave, sitting down, touching his headstone, and having my own quiet chat with him. There is something to be said for a solid reminder of a life that once was, with a person that you greatly relied on, and just a tiny space on this vast planet where you can plop yourself down and somehow still feel connected to that person and know that part of them is sharing that very same space with you. Even still.
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Old 08-07-2011, 05:33 AM
 
Location: Central Florida
973 posts, read 1,490,411 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MaryleeII View Post
How touching----just how do you think those ashes will be spread over the ocean? someone has to do it, hire a plane, or boat, that costs money......are you leaving money for that? also, that someone probably has to take off work, and travel to the "ocean"

I wish people who have such romantic ideas of how they want to be buried would leave the proper funds and instructions, and rralize exactly what they are asking, step-by-step, not just some romantic idea.


Not sure you really understood/read what I had written, so I will copy and paste part of it again: SO on my "to do" list for next year when I retire, I am going to pay for a pre-planning cremation service with instructions, so my kids do not have to worry about it. I looked at some of our funeral parlors here, and I can get it done nicely for under 1,500 and have my ashes spread over the ocean that I love.

The 1500 will cover all the arrangements that I had mentioned above. The funeral parlor does it all the time since we are so close to the ocean (less than half a mile). Nothing "romantic" about doing something like this here. BUT what WOULD be romantic is if I had half of my ashes sent to Belgrade, Serbia where my soul is and have them spread over the Danube River!

Last edited by Sagitarrius48; 08-07-2011 at 06:59 AM..
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