U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Retirement
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 11-02-2011, 01:32 PM
 
Location: Toronto, Ottawa Valley & Dunedin FL
1,409 posts, read 2,360,348 times
Reputation: 1159

Advertisements

I haven't read the whole thread, but as much as it pains me to say, I think some pre-planning is the way to go.

My mom wanted to be cremated, and we did this, but first had to put her in a fancy wood casket. What a waste? Because nothing was planned, and we the kids were rushing in from out of town, we had to do the service at the funeral home, with a pastor who knew nothing about her. So there weren't any personal touches. My aunt, on the other hand, was buried in her local village church, with the whole community there, and the church ladies made sandwiches--that old fashioned way is nice, but not always possible these days.

I'm in favour of no funeral, but a memorial service afterwards. This way you can get together photos, choose music, and invite friends to a pleasant evening of rememberances.

I want to be cremated, which isn't a problem, but I don't want to be embalmed. My husband, would like to be wrapped in a blanket and buried in a shallow grave. Not possible, just about anywhere. Although I see there are "green burials" where we live in the winter in Florida. So who knows?

Funny, my mother insisted that she be embalmed--she had a pathological fear of being buried alive, so wanted to make sure she was really dead.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 11-02-2011, 10:13 PM
 
Location: University City, Philadelphia
22,592 posts, read 12,371,563 times
Reputation: 15500
Quote:
Originally Posted by tijlover View Post
I want the cheapest cremation possible, and devote the rest of the $$ to a very unique headstone, painted by a muralist.

Bright red, orange, yellow flames shooting out from the base of the stone, to let everyone know where I went!
Sounds like a great idea to me!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-03-2011, 10:13 AM
 
Location: State of Being
35,885 posts, read 67,271,077 times
Reputation: 22402
My dad is a retired minister; I am a liturgical organist. I have participated in - and helped plan - many funerals.

The biggest gift we can give our grieving family members is to have everything spelled out and money set aside for whatever funeral we wish to have.

When I say "spelled out" . . . I literally mean written down, others notified, decisions made . . .

PALLBEARERS: (if not specific names, appoint someone to be in charge of gathering pallbearers, and if you wish them to be your nephews, for ex., it should be stated . . . or if you are a Mason and want fellow Masons as pallbearers, state that, etc ). In some regions of the country, it is common for the funeral home to provide pallbearers if the family does not have folks designated (and there is a charge for that service).

FUNERAL HOME: Visit some funeral homes and decide wh/ one you prefer to handle your service. Put someone in charge of being the contact person; select a back up, too (in case the selected person can't fulfill those duties, for whatever reason). This could be the executor of your estate, for example.

WAKE or VISITATION: Different religions and community traditions may dictate what is typical, but you need to decide on this beforehand so others know what to do in re: to these traditions.

MUSIC: write it down. What hymns? Full choir? Soloist for a particular selection?

MILITARY FUNERAL: This is not as easy to put together as one may assume! In fact, it can be fairly complicated. Find out ahead of time who is the contact person for your region and have this contact info written down, and a family member aware of the contact info and what type of military service you wish to have. Here is a place to start w/ that planning process: MILITARY FUNERAL HONORS HOMEPAGE

OPEN CASKET? Again, local or religious traditions may prescribe what is typical, but make sure someone else knows YOUR preference. Also, you may want to indicate what clothing you wish to be buried in, relieving family members from having to make that decision. Even with an open casket, you only need clothing from the waist up - something most people don't think about. Even little details, such as glasses on/off or placed in hands, wedding band/jewelry, hair style . . . someone has to make those decisions.

SERVICE: full formal church service? Communion/Eucharist? Graveside service? Service at Funeral Home? Memorial only? Favorite scriptures or poem to be read? Anyone you want to offer a eulogy? Homily by minister?

BURIAL: where? have that plot paid for!

HEADSTONE: Buy ahead and your family can just add the dates when the time comes to do so. Did you know it is possible to get a military headstone/footstone at no charge? Here is info for veterans:
Headstones, Markers and Medallions - Burial and Memorial Benefits Don't assume someone will figure this out after you are gone! Take care of it ahead of time.

CREMATION: what vessel for storage? Who gets custody of it? Burial of vessel in someone else's plot, i.e. spouse's plot? (Many states allow several cremation vessels to be buried in one plot). . . Sprinkle ashes? WHERE? WHO is in charge of that ritual?

TRAVEL: Limos? Friends who volunteer their cars and drive family members?

OBITUARY: Write it yourself or have someone write it ahead of your demise. Put someone in charge of the Obit - they can add any pertinent details, if any need to be added. Know the rules for the newspaper(s) where you wish to have your Obit published. Is there a charge for more than a several line notice? What are the deadlines for submission? Does the funeral home you have chosen take care of Obit submissions?

COMMUNITY TRADITIONS: If you belong to a church and the tradition is to have food brought to your home, either make sure you approve that or nix it . . . let others know what you would like done in re: to these traditions.

HONORARIUM: Even if you are a member of a church and your minister and organist and choir members are providing their services, it is customary to give a donation to the church, even if there are no formal charges for use of the building and church employee's time. Remember: most services take place during the work day and choir members and organists typically have jobs they must leave to participate in a funeral. Many take a pay loss to be able to participate in the service. The least one can do is make a donation to the church itself.

FLOWERS/FLORAL ARRANGEMENTS: If having a formal church service, flowers typically need to be put on the altar. Know what your particular church's rules are in re: to altar flowers and plan accordingly.

IN LIEU OF FLOWERS . . . If you want memorial donations to go to a particular foundation or organization, write that down and let folks know ahead of time what your desires are in re: to memorial donations and/or flowers.

SECURITY GUARD: Sadly, homes are often broken into when thugs read obits in the paper and figure out when the deceased person's home is going to be unoccupied. If you have a neighbor who is willing to be on-site until family returns, ask ahead if they would be willing to help out. Otherwise, consider hiring a security guard.

MINISTER/PRIEST: If there is a particular minister you wish to have as a participant in the funeral, let someone know about that. Pay travel expenses for the minister if he/she has to travel for the funeral. Typically, a good funeral director will remind families of this but not always.

If you answer these questions and write this info down, you will have made things much easier for family as well as a funeral director, during a time that is often chaotic for family and friends.

I would like to add . . . make sure you have any powers-of-attorney in place that may be needed . . . and make sure folks have the needed info for such things as the death certificate. I have seen it happen many times - that info on the death certificate is NOT filled out properly, i.e. a name spelled incorrectly. Typically, a death certificate will include the names of the deceased's parents. Errors also occur with this info. Have your parents' names clearly written down, as well as your own name, your spouse's name, and your social security number, and make sure someone knows where that info is and has access to it (such as in a safety deposit box). Also, have a will and make sure your executor has a copy or at least knows where to access your will.

Doubtless, there are things I haven't thought about . .. but hopefully, this will at least help in planning your own funeral - or that of a loved one.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-03-2011, 02:05 PM
 
Location: SW MO
23,605 posts, read 31,552,600 times
Reputation: 29083
Excellent list, Anifan.

Our burials will be simple affairs and are wholly paid for. No embalming, turn us into crispy critters, urns already purchased (much cheaper online than at a funeral home). Fill 'em, ship 'em to the closest VA cemetery ("reservations" already pre-certified and made) and place us together either at the same time or one after the other, as the events arise, in a designated columbarium. I've waived a full military ceremonial burial - available and no cost - and opted for a columbarium with plaque rather than in-ground with a headstone - also available at no cost. All the paperwork and necessary legal forms are done.

Our closest children live 800 miles away, the rest 2,000. We've opted for quick, easy, quiet and trouble/cost-free for our families. If they wish to have some sort of memorial service to mark our passing(s), that's on them! We're not likely to attend.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-03-2011, 02:43 PM
 
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 19,024,159 times
Reputation: 15649
Experience: Our mother died very suddenly, she just dropped on summer night in her own home. Our mother had not planned anything at all, we had no idea of what she might want, she would never talk about it. Because she died at home alone, by law there had to be an autopsy. Therefore a closed casket, and nothing for her to "wear." We sisters went out looking for a nice shroud of some kind and found absolutely nothing that seemed right for her personality. Burial was to be the next day. We started into a panic, we wanted her to be buried in something but it couldn't be clothes. We somehow found ourselves in a bedding store and one of my sisters saw a cotton piqué shower curtain with embroidered appliques. We joked about using that but I became serious. Why not? It was lovely, and so I talked them into it. We were also under shock and time pressure. We brought it to the funeral director and instructed him to use it. Although it was a solemn occasion, the idea of using a shower curtain as a shroud had some levity to it, but I do kind of feel guilty about this even today. It shows how much we are attached to materialism and the trappings of materialism.

My sister took complete control of our mother's burial and spent an absolute fortune (in my view) on the casket, liner, etc. Our mother was not materialist in the least; I was greatly saddened that, although she'll never know it, she got buried in the ornate steel casket with all the usual stuff. I think she would have laughed about the shower curtain. I know she, at age 92, would have been happy with a simple pine casket with burial in a rose garden.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-03-2011, 02:55 PM
 
Location: State of Being
35,885 posts, read 67,271,077 times
Reputation: 22402
Quote:
Originally Posted by newenglandgirl View Post
Experience: Our mother died very suddenly, she just dropped on summer night in her own home. Our mother had not planned anything at all, we had no idea of what she might want, she would never talk about it. Because she died at home alone, by law there had to be an autopsy. Therefore a closed casket, and nothing for her to "wear." We sisters went out looking for a nice shroud of some kind and found absolutely nothing that seemed right for her personality. Burial was to be the next day. We started into a panic, we wanted her to be buried in something but it couldn't be clothes. We somehow found ourselves in a bedding store and one of my sisters saw a cotton piqué shower curtain with embroidered appliques. We joked about using that but I became serious. Why not? It was lovely, and so I talked them into it. We were also under shock and time pressure. We brought it to the funeral director and instructed him to use it. Although it was a solemn occasion, the idea of using a shower curtain as a shroud had some levity to it, but I do kind of feel guilty about this even today. It shows how much we are attached to materialism and the trappings of materialism.

My sister took complete control of our mother's burial and spent an absolute fortune (in my view) on the casket, liner, etc. Our mother was not materialist in the least; I was greatly saddened that, although she'll never know it, she got buried in the ornate steel casket with all the usual stuff. I think she would have laughed about the shower curtain. I know she, at age 92, would have been happy with a simple pine casket with burial in a rose garden.
I think the idea of using cotton pique fabric as a shroud was lovely. And it was quite ingenious to see beyond the fabric's "intended" function and recognize the potential. You should feel very proud of finding a solution and let go of any guilt. I bet your mom would be pleased that you came up with such a wonderful solution.

I have never understood the need for an expensive casket. That is one reason hubby and I will be cremated. Spending $$ on a casket just seems like a waste to us, even tho I do understand that others don't feel the way I do about it.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-03-2011, 02:58 PM
 
Location: Lexington, SC
4,281 posts, read 10,764,192 times
Reputation: 3717
My wife and I have donated our bodies to a local medical college. Upon death, they come and pick the body up. The survivor will have a small memorial service a few days after the death, then the attendees will go somewhere that has plenty of food and an open bar.

I think one should do some pre-planning and let it be known what they have done. The funeral business is very, very good at extracting large amounts of unneeded/wasted money from griving survivors so be careful.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-03-2011, 02:58 PM
 
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 19,024,159 times
Reputation: 15649
Are you planning the final event to be where you live now, or where you used to live? So you're not worrying about a memorial service?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Curmudgeon View Post
Excellent list, Anifan.

Our burials will be simple affairs and are wholly paid for. No embalming, turn us into crispy critters, urns already purchased (much cheaper online than at a funeral home). Fill 'em, ship 'em to the closest VA cemetery ("reservations" already pre-certified and made) and place us together either at the same time or one after the other, as the events arise, in a designated columbarium. I've waived a full military ceremonial burial - available and no cost - and opted for a columbarium with plaque rather than in-ground with a headstone - also available at no cost. All the paperwork and necessary legal forms are done.

Our closest children live 800 miles away, the rest 2,000. We've opted for quick, easy, quiet and trouble/cost-free for our families. If they wish to have some sort of memorial service to mark our passing(s), that's on them! We're not likely to attend.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-03-2011, 02:59 PM
 
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 19,024,159 times
Reputation: 15649
All I want for a memorial service is a concert of taped recordings of the great music I've loved over my lifetime. I've got all the best operatic performers lined up...Caruso, Jesse Norman, Placido Domingo, Natalie Dessay, Lucia Popp, Jonas Kauffman, Leontyne Price, Dmitri Hvorostovsky (Faust), full-length operas, concert pieces, chamber music, choral music (Brahms' Requiem), all the Bach suites, a musical or two, Russian, Italian and German songs (esp Strauss's Four Last Songs ), African (Cesario Evora) and Portugese music, etc....It's going to be a 48-hour marathon of sound with wine and cheese served. If I can manage to get these on a tape loop, that would make me feel great looking down on it all (or up, as in the case of Faust ).
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GuVSG...eature=related "Before Leaving This Place" aria

Last edited by RiverBird; 11-03-2011 at 03:24 PM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 11-03-2011, 04:04 PM
 
Location: SW MO
23,605 posts, read 31,552,600 times
Reputation: 29083
Quote:
Originally Posted by newenglandgirl View Post
Are you planning the final event to be where you live now, or where you used to live? So you're not worrying about a memorial service?
Where we live now, this is home, with internment in the Springfield National Cemetery where fellow soldiers from every war, including the Revolutionary War, are buried. Maybe keeping such good company will rub off on me.

No need for a memorial service unless our children wish to hold their own in memoriam and they can do that where they are. My children and my wife's don't get along and the tres hermanas, my daughters in CA, aren't speaking to the men of the family now, including me, so perhaps they'll want to go to a comedy club the celebrate my having assumed room temperature when the time comes. Chances are I won't care at that point.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Retirement
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top