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If you think weddings cost a lot! Funerals are just as bad.


FaithManor
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And the worst part is the industry makes the wedding business look positively saintly by comparison. Taking advantage stage of the bereaved in the most depraved manner is "normal".

 

 

Sigh, my mother spent $7000 to bury my father figure, and she went with the next to cheapest casket. The church pressured her into the big community funeral. Don't ask what I cost to feed them all. The church cooked it, but mom bought all the supplies.

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Wow, that's terrible. I always thought other people provided the food for a funeral. I have always seen potlucks after funerals and immediate family doesn't have to worry about it. I'm sorry about what happened.

 

 

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Yes, completely agree that the costs are outrageous.  I really wish people would express their wishes to their families for their burial plans.  MIL really struggled with making choices for FIL that weren't "top of the line" out of her love for him.  He would have been so angry if he was still with us to see what those choices were costing.

 

The line item that especially shocked me was the obituary.  $600 dollars.  For nothing spectacular or long or with a picture.  I can't remember if it ran for one day or two.  Ugh.

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Wow, that is sad. Our church has a large group of (bossy) old women who cook for and serve funeral meals. Sorry you have to deal with that.

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... I really wish people would express their wishes to their families for their burial plans...

Iirc, what Faith's mom arranged is pretty much what the deceased stated he expected?

 

Faith, I'm sorry your mom is stuck with these bills, I know you contributed as well, time and talent in addition to treasure, to make this easier for your mom. I pray you can all now look forward from here and renew a right relationship for whatever time you have left together.

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Iirc, what Faith's mom arranged is pretty much what the deceased stated he expected?

 

Faith, I'm sorry your mom is stuck with these bills, I know you contributed as well, time and talent in addition to treasure, to make this easier for your mom. I pray you can all now look forward from here and renew a right relationship for whatever time you have left together.

I meant this as a general statement, not directed at OP.  In my own experience, I felt bad for MIL trying to make selections that she felt honored FIL even though we felt he would have been shocked at the costs and not wanted her to spend the money.    

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I meant this as a general statement, not directed at OP. In my own experience, I felt bad for MIL trying to make selections that she felt honored FIL even though we felt he would have been shocked at the costs and not wanted her to spend the money.

Oh yes, I agree! I've read lately about the recommendation that a person should have a written letter of intent about that sort of thing - the type of arrangements, music to be played, etc. it's very sad that the funeral industry seems to prey on people in their most vulnerable states.

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I had no idea how expensive funerals were until a close friend lost her two teens in a car accident.  That was a real eye opener. 

 

Oh my gosh, how horrible! 

 

We had an admin at my school who lost her son in a small plane accident.  There was a sibling pair on the plane as well, a brother/sister.   It was awful.

Edited by DawnM
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My mother took care of my father's arrangements, and I'm sure she went as cheaply as possible.  When she died, I made the arrangements and went as cheaply as possible, as I knew she would want. I remember no pressure from the funeral home to do more.  They were very nice and helpful.

 

My husband and kids know that I would want them to deal with me as cheaply as possible.  My husband hasn't really said, but if I'm around, I know what to do and if I'm not, my kids will know. 

 

I have been to funerals that were professionally catered because the family didn't have anyone, or didn't want to ask anyone, to cook for them.  Our church had one like that. The people had just started attending and weren't comfortable asking people they didn't know to cook for a funeral (the deceased had not been attending the church).  We (pastors' and elders' wives) would have been glad to do it, and told them.  But they preferred not to do it that way.  It wasn't ostentatious in any way, and probably not very costly (as catered meals go).  

 

 

Edited by marbel
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This is why I've instructed my family to cremate me, put me in a cardboard box, and do with my ashes as they please.  If they want a memorial, have a small party at home with close friends and family.  I find funerals at funeral homes to be a form of horrific torture anyway.

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Wow, that's terrible. I always thought other people provided the food for a funeral. I have always seen potlucks after funerals and immediate family doesn't have to worry about it. I'm sorry about what happened.

 

 

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That's how it works at every church we've ever belonged to. The grieving family does not pay for the meal. The church members bring food and the church itself provides the paper products.

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Wow I'm sorry funeral costs are ridiculous. I'm so thankful we live in a community where you can bury someone yourself and don't have to go through the funeral homes. My fil had a friend that made his casket and a friend dig the hole his funeral cost us nothing. It was a community cemetery so we didn't even have to pay them

Edited by moonsong
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I think it's shocking.

 

My elderly family seems to be making arrangements for this themselves. 

 

My parish church also makes some arrangements for this - they provide a choir and reception at no cost.

 

Most of the funeral homes now are owned by giant conglomerates, and I suspect that is part of the issue.

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Sigh, my mother spent $7000 to bury my father figure, and she went with the next to cheapest casket. The church pressured her into the big community funeral. Don't ask what I cost to feed them all. The church cooked it, but mom bought all the supplies.

 

That's pretty nasty of the church... just sayin'.  If they want a big community funeral they should be taking on the cost rather than leaving it to a widow.  My Bible says churches are supposed to take care of orphans and widows.  I wonder what theirs says.

 

My Dad has his plans all set and has prepaid for them - 13K!  I can't fathom spending that amount.  My mom wants cremation and no service - do what we want with her ashes as long as it doesn't include spreading them over water and her cat's ashes are with her. (Cat died a few years ago.)

 

I told my guys to do whatever they want because I certainly won't need my body at that point, but DO NOT spend tons of money.  Cremation is fine - as would be leaving my body for scavengers (if that were legal).  I had someone tell me once, "You can't do that!!! What will happen in Heaven if your body isn't there???  Jesus came back with his scars, so God obviously uses our bodies!"  I guess that means all those who died and were buried and decomposed are out of luck, not to mention those who died via other means (fire, etc).   :lol:  Nah.  The God I believe in - the One who created the world and everything in it (regardless of time frame), including me, honestly doesn't NEED my embalmed body for the afterlife.

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When my dad died, my mother overspent. She bought the top-of-the-line cremation casket and container for his ashes. She bought scads of flowers. IMHO everything that funeral home did was more expensive than anyone else. The church provided food. The minister and musicians didn't want to be paid, but I gave a good donation to the church and gift cards to the musicians on my own. It was all so ironic because she abused him physically and emotionally for years.

 

Two years later when she died, we went to a much better funeral home and went with reasonable choices. It cost about 1/2 and was just as nice. Once again, I gave a donation to the church and gift cards those who did the music.

 

For my uncle, thankfully the individual I was working with at the county recommended a funeral home. I told them upfront exactly what I wanted, and it was reasonable for that area. All of his friends from work had died or left the area, and his best friend was in an out-of-state nursing home. They handled the burial at a veteran's cemetery, and we didn't have any other service. I had to pay for it myself, and eventually the estate reimbursed me. 

 

My aunt and uncle have their preferences documented, as do DH and I.

Edited by G5052
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That's how it works at every church we've ever belonged to. The grieving family does not pay for the meal. The church members bring food and the church itself provides the paper products.

There are some churches in the area that still do that, but only for members of the church. But for large funerals, due to defining funds, they still cannot afford to buy all of the supplies. So the labor is free, not the ingredients and paper products. For those who are not connected to the church, they have to rent the facility for the funeral, pay for custodial services, and hire a caterer.

 

So many expenses shocked me. $100.00 for the local, rural newspaper to run the obituary. I was kind of the opinion that we should save the charge and not run it. It also would have helped keep the funeral smaller because many of his business associates would not have known when the funeral was being held. But that was some traditional thing.

 

$15.00 each for all the death certificates and due to all of his business accounts that she needed to close, we needed 13 of the things.

 

$500.00 for the burial plot. Another $750.00 to close the grave. $1500.00 for the crypt - required by local ordinance.

 

The list of fees was huge. The only thing that was free was the local VFW coming to play Taps and give the gun salute, and the Air Force sending two airmen from Wright Patterson base in OH to do the flag ceremony and make the presentation. That part right there was the single most memorable, most meaningful part of the whole thing.

 

She paid the police department for traffic control - for our ridiculously uncontested country roads where there is no traffic - for the funeral procession. I thought that was something paid for through taxes. Nope.

 

Transportation of the body. $250 to the church - six miles from the funeral home. Another $250 back to the cemetery. And this was the cheap funeral home. The other one - put your morning coffee down so you do not spit it across the screen - charges $200 per mile!!!

 

Oh and you are going to love this one. The uber fancy funeral home twelve miles away charges for parking! They let the immediate family - spouses, siblings, grandparents - park for free. Everyone else is $5.00 a car. I would not be shocked if some day the owner started selling tickets to funerals.

 

It was all very disheartening and made me feel quite cynical.

 

So there you have it. You need to save $1500-2000 per girl to do a nuts and bolts, bare minimum wedding, and $7000 a family member for funerals. Good grief. There has to be some way to protect public health, and yet bury someone with dignity and no fanfare, limited expense. This is crazy.

 

I am donating my body to U of MI medical center or whatever university is close that needs it. I told the kids to toss a couple logs in the fire ring out back, roast snores, eat a hot dog and call it a day! I would much rather my kids just sat around privately with Dh, reminisced, experienced no stress and pressure or expense than have a funeral.

 

I did try to talk mom into direct burial. She was anti-cremation. The direct burial would have saved embalming fees which are very high, extra transportation fees, and the need for a "pretty" coffin to display. I also suggested that we then wait a few days - she was exhausted from caring for him - then have a memorial service only, pictures and a some simple Wal-Mart flowers in the vases I still have in my event planning stash - and in mid - afternoon so only desserts, coffee, tea, and lemonade. Very cheap to feed a large group, no viewing so the day would be short.

 

She didn't go for that idea. But if you have a family culture that is not pro cremation, and who expect a large community presence, I think it would be a great way to go.

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Creekland, I have heard this you must have your body thing from the older generation of Christians in the past. My mom's pastor is anti cremation. I made the point to him that as a six day literal creationist, I was kind of flabbergasted that he believed God made Adam from the dust of the earth, but then we as incapable of resurrecting a body returned to the same state.

 

He wasn't amused. But then I was not amused that he pressures his parishioners into spending on embalming when they cannot afford it. So the mutual disdain was equal!

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My in-laws pre-paid for their funeral, casket, burial plot - the entire 9 yards many years ago. I'm not sure I would do that - because what if that company went out of business? Anyway, I thought they might have trouble getting service, etc - but no, it was all fairly painless (as a death/funeral/etc can be). 

 

We have billboards here advertising $800 cremation. It was $600 two years ago, so I was impressed with the price increase. 

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I did try to talk mom into direct burial. She was anti-cremation. The direct burial would have saved embalming fees which are very high, extra transportation fees, and the need for a "pretty" coffin to display. I also suggested that we then wait a few days - she was exhausted from caring for him - then have a memorial service only, pictures and a some simple Wal-Mart flowers in the vases I still have in my event planning stash - and in mid - afternoon so only desserts, coffee, tea, and lemonade. Very cheap to feed a large group, no viewing so the day would be short.

 

 

I'm pretty ignorant of this--is this something that needs to be decided before the person dies or it cannot be accomplished? Does this mean that they have a graveside in which the coffin is already laid?

 

My dh is anti-cremation as well. I was for it because I thought it was less expensive but it sounds like I am wrong. 

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I have several Jewish friends who are strongly anti-creamation. All lost family members in the Holocaust.

 

Is pine-box type burial legal everywhere?

 

In my church the service is always just a memorial. There is often food provided for the family if a graveside service precedes or follows the church service, or if the visitation is lengthy.

Reception is at someone's home for family and close friends. This is a large church, well over 1200 members.

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Wow, I knew funerals were expensive, but had no idea how much.  And the stories of families who lost two children at once are heartbreaking.  

 

I don't care what happens to my body after I die and I certainly don't want my family spending much on anything.  

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I'm of the secondhand lions viewpoint when it comes to my remains. "Bury me in the garden with the darn lion."

 

Seriously, we've got 40 something acres. Dig a hole and toss me in there. Don't put the family through the torture of a funeral home viewing where they have to sit around all dressed up receiving visitors for hours. Nobody wants to wear pantyhose when they're sad and they shouldn't have to.

 

Have pie at the house and receive visitors there. Roast some marshmallows and talk about things we did together. Talk about how Jesus gave me hope for eternity. Celebrate that with joy!

 

I think embalming is a racket. Let my body feed the earth. That's the way god designed the process of death anyway. I kind of like the idea of cows grazing on my grave. [emoji3]

 

 

 

 

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Our local family run funeral home does not charge for their services for children who have passed.

 

When our son died last year, they were wonderful.

We did have to pay for the cremation fees, because they send remains to an out of state crematorium, but the local place charged no fees to us.

 

I appreciated that. We chose not to have services, but they would've done all of their typical stuff no cost, had we wanted it.

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Our local family run funeral home does not charge for their services for children who have passed.

 

When our son died last year, they were wonderful.

We did have to pay for the cremation fees, because they send remains to an out of state crematorium, but the local place charged no fees to us.

 

I appreciated that. We chose not to have services, but they would've done all of their typical stuff no cost, had we wanted it.

 

That is wonderful of them.  :grouphug:  :grouphug:  :grouphug:

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I have several Jewish friends who are strongly anti-creamation. All lost family members in the Holocaust.

 

Is pine-box type burial legal everywhere?

 

In my church the service is always just a memorial. There is often food provided for the family if a graveside service precedes or follows the church service, or if the visitation is lengthy.

Reception is at someone's home for family and close friends. This is a large church, well over 1200 members.

 

The rules vary by state, county, and cemetery, but there's almost always some provision for Orthodox or Muslim burial.  Generally, even in a plain box burial, a vault is required (cement box) unless you are in a "green cemetery"--which has more of a, um, composting approach.

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Our local family run funeral home does not charge for their services for children who have passed.

 

When our son died last year, they were wonderful.

We did have to pay for the cremation fees, because they send remains to an out of state crematorium, but the local place charged no fees to us.

 

I appreciated that. We chose not to have services, but they would've done all of their typical stuff no cost, had we wanted it.

 

 

We were not offered a discount. When I began to price things, like the coffin, out for direct purchase, I became horrified as I realized how much overhead is in the funeral business.....like $8-10k per burial.  

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Creekland, I have heard this you must have your body thing from the older generation of Christians in the past. My mom's pastor is anti cremation. I made the point to him that as a six day literal creationist, I was kind of flabbergasted that he believed God made Adam from the dust of the earth, but then we as incapable of resurrecting a body returned to the same state.

 

He wasn't amused. But then I was not amused that he pressures his parishioners into spending on embalming when they cannot afford it. So the mutual disdain was equal!

 

Orthodox Christians also aren't usually allowed creamation, and Catholics weren't until recently either.

 

It's not so much that they think the body needs to be kept intact - people knew bodies decomposed.  But there is a strong symbolic element around the idea of bodily ressurection.  Many pagan religions believed the body was a vessel which trapped the soul and so were fine with cremation as it was the destruction of an empty vessel, unlike the Christians who believed our physical body was integral to who we are.

 

Even though there aren't many pagans of that kind around today, given that so many people say cremation is fine since there is no person left after death, arguably the symbolic element still holds true.

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Our local family run funeral home does not charge for their services for children who have passed.

 

When our son died last year, they were wonderful.

We did have to pay for the cremation fees, because they send remains to an out of state crematorium, but the local place charged no fees to us.

 

I appreciated that. We chose not to have services, but they would've done all of their typical stuff no cost, had we wanted it.

Hugs...

 

I honestly have no idea how much our daughter's funeral and burial expenses were. My husband took care of all of that.

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I "like" the fact that you are educating people about this before they are in a state of grief, not that the funeral industry is doing this.

 

My own family is not religious. It becomes even more complicated and difficult for those of you who are.

 

It sounds like your friend did everything "right" that my father did in following my grandmother's wishes in '95 so things have gotten worse.

 

My family chose a simple cremation for my sister in '92 and used the money they would have spent on a funeral to make a donation that was a more appropriate memorial to who she really was.

 

When my adult children's father was sick, I found out that he had never changed his ICE contact over after our divorce. I knew that I would be too upset to make good decisions if/when he passed so I went ahead and did my research in a calm state of mind and saved the info so I could just go on autopilot. Fortunately, he recovered and I didn't have to use it.

 

It's a gross, morbid thing to do while you're doing it, but I hope my now-adult children have or will do it for me anyway.

Edited by Guest
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Are you in the US?

 

Wow I'm sorry funeral costs are ridiculous. I'm so thankful we live in a community where you can bury someone yourself and don't have to go through the funeral homes. My fil had a friend that made his casket and a friend dig the hole his funeral cost us nothing. It was a community cemetery so we didn't even have to pay them

 

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In NYS, the money is not actually held by the funeral home, but in a special account that is run by the state and collects interest.  SO if the funeral home went out of business, you get your money back.  I imagine most states are like this.

My in-laws pre-paid for their funeral, casket, burial plot - the entire 9 yards many years ago. I'm not sure I would do that - because what if that company went out of business? Anyway, I thought they might have trouble getting service, etc - but no, it was all fairly painless (as a death/funeral/etc can be). 

 

We have billboards here advertising $800 cremation. It was $600 two years ago, so I was impressed with the price increase. 

 

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Oh yes, I agree! I've read lately about the recommendation that a person should have a written letter of intent about that sort of thing - the type of arrangements, music to be played, etc. it's very sad that the funeral industry seems to prey on people in their most vulnerable states.

This. Both my dad and my father-in-law planned and chose everything in advance. I don't know how much either cost, but given their choices, I'm sure both were quite reasonable. I can't even begin to express how much easier this made dealing with everything. We knew we were doing exactly what they wanted. My mom already has everything planned, right down to the hymns and the food. I'm so thankful.

 

As for the food after the funeral, at my parent's church parishioners provide salads, desserts, and drinks and do all of the set-up, clean-up, and serving. The family arranges and pays for the catering of the main course, although some with large extended families do it themselves. Although it's a small church in a very small town, there can be several hundred people at some funerals. We sent over 500 thank you notes after my dad's death.

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My dad's funeral last year was $17K (or something ridiculous close to that).  He would have had a stroke and died if he'd known we spent that much.  But funerals are for the living and that was what mom strongly wanted, so I didn't blow a gasket at her about it.  I think these things are more for the mourners; some people really need that pomp and circumstance, and I wouldn't begrudge it to anyone, even though I personally feel it is nuts.  The cost was jacked up by the fact that if you want a viewing, you must be embalmed.  I don't know if that's NYS law or funeral home policy, but my mom wanted a viewing for dad and that, as they say, was that.  We bought a nice, but not outrageously expensive casket.  But then a vault is required by NYS, and that runs between $2900-$5000 additional.  Flowers were $300-$350 a set (mom wanted the red roses with "husband" on them) - $350 thankyouverymuchsaidtheflorist.  Plot was $1K, and another $1K to close it.  Food - $550 at a restaurant; it was just easier that way, and after several thousands, what's another $550.  Obit it 2 papers ran us $600.  The services of the funeral home made up the difference - dad had a Boston Red Sox "theme" (yup, themes are things at funerals now), complete with the piped-in smell of fresh cut grass.  Nuts?  Yes.  But that's what mom wanted and I wasn't about to argue with the woman.   

Edited by reefgazer
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I'm sorry. It stinks.

 

I went to a funeral recently and I was shocked that my grandma agreed to cremation. But I know it was to be practical. She was being buried out of state.

 

Wow, that's terrible. I always thought other people provided the food for a funeral. I have always seen potlucks after funerals and immediate family doesn't have to worry about it. I'm sorry about what happened.


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My grandma's church has a bereavement committee. After her funeral there was a meal (small church so not a million people) provided and a dessert table. But that's just how that particular church is. I'm sure it varies. Most funerals I have been to the food is done separately, like you drive to a restaurant or meet up at a family member's home.

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So, how do you get around all of that?  How do you have a cheap funeral?  I do not have a bunch of land that I can bury a body in, or access to any.

 

For my dh and myself, we had planned on a cremation, buying our own vessel for the remains (because I hear that the urns that funeral homes sell are overpriced), a service at our church, and a lunch at our church, perhaps, with all potluck type of food provided by the church (our church will do that--they have a bunch of people who will bring food for funerals.)  

 

What hidden fees are in there that they'll charge me?  I suppose they'll charge to move the body from wherever it died to the crematorium (is that the word?).  I was planning on a cardboard box to be burned with the body (because I think they make you put the body in a box and burn them together?).  There would be no viewing.  

 

So, other than body transport to the crematorium and the cost of the box and the cost of the crematorium for the actual burning...what have I missed?  

 

ETA:  The obit.  I could probably do a small one if the other costs aren't too much.  Oh, and I'm seeing the death certificates as well.  Maybe I'll skip the obit to pay for the death certificates.

 

Anything else I'm missing?

Edited by Garga
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I've made a point to discuss with DH and the kids that I want to take up as little resources as possible.  That includes money and space.  I expect to be cremated in the cheapest possible way and NO funeral, maybe a small gathering to spread ashes type thing but that's it.  If they really have to do something I do like the idea of being made into "something", supposedly they can turn you into a diamond? Or do the whole tree burial thing.  I just really don't want to take up space.

 

Also no Obit.  Anyone who I would want notified would hear about it by word of mouth I couldn't care less about the rest of the World knowing.

Edited by foxbridgeacademy
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Our local family run funeral home does not charge for their services for children who have passed.

 

When our son died last year, they were wonderful.

We did have to pay for the cremation fees, because they send remains to an out of state crematorium, but the local place charged no fees to us.

 

I appreciated that. We chose not to have services, but they would've done all of their typical stuff no cost, had we wanted it.

 

Couldn't add my "like" without adding  :grouphug: too.  I'm sorry you had to go through it, but definitely "like" the way your funeral home was so compassionate.

 

 

Hugs...

 

I honestly have no idea how much our daughter's funeral and burial expenses were. My husband took care of all of that.

 

Ditto on the  :grouphug: .

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There are some churches in the area that still do that, but only for members of the church. But for large funerals, due to defining funds, they still cannot afford to buy all of the supplies. So the labor is free, not the ingredients and paper products. For those who are not connected to the church, they have to rent the facility for the funeral, pay for custodial services, and hire a caterer.

 

So many expenses shocked me. $100.00 for the local, rural newspaper to run the obituary. I was kind of the opinion that we should save the charge and not run it. It also would have helped keep the funeral smaller because many of his business associates would not have known when the funeral was being held. But that was some traditional thing.

 

$15.00 each for all the death certificates and due to all of his business accounts that she needed to close, we needed 13 of the things.

 

$500.00 for the burial plot. Another $750.00 to close the grave. $1500.00 for the crypt - required by local ordinance.

 

The list of fees was huge. The only thing that was free was the local VFW coming to play Taps and give the gun salute, and the Air Force sending two airmen from Wright Patterson base in OH to do the flag ceremony and make the presentation. That part right there was the single most memorable, most meaningful part of the whole thing.

 

She paid the police department for traffic control - for our ridiculously uncontested country roads where there is no traffic - for the funeral procession. I thought that was something paid for through taxes. Nope.

 

Transportation of the body. $250 to the church - six miles from the funeral home. Another $250 back to the cemetery. And this was the cheap funeral home. The other one - put your morning coffee down so you do not spit it across the screen - charges $200 per mile!!!

 

Oh and you are going to love this one. The uber fancy funeral home twelve miles away charges for parking! They let the immediate family - spouses, siblings, grandparents - park for free. Everyone else is $5.00 a car. I would not be shocked if some day the owner started selling tickets to funerals.

 

It was all very disheartening and made me feel quite cynical.

 

So there you have it. You need to save $1500-2000 per girl to do a nuts and bolts, bare minimum wedding, and $7000 a family member for funerals. Good grief. There has to be some way to protect public health, and yet bury someone with dignity and no fanfare, limited expense. This is crazy.

 

I am donating my body to U of MI medical center or whatever university is close that needs it. I told the kids to toss a couple logs in the fire ring out back, roast snores, eat a hot dog and call it a day! I would much rather my kids just sat around privately with Dh, reminisced, experienced no stress and pressure or expense than have a funeral.

 

I did try to talk mom into direct burial. She was anti-cremation. The direct burial would have saved embalming fees which are very high, extra transportation fees, and the need for a "pretty" coffin to display. I also suggested that we then wait a few days - she was exhausted from caring for him - then have a memorial service only, pictures and a some simple Wal-Mart flowers in the vases I still have in my event planning stash - and in mid - afternoon so only desserts, coffee, tea, and lemonade. Very cheap to feed a large group, no viewing so the day would be short.

 

She didn't go for that idea. But if you have a family culture that is not pro cremation, and who expect a large community presence, I think it would be a great way to go.

 

Just to clarify. The churches we've belonged to did not supply food from church funds. The church members supplied the food. The church supplied the paper products. This was pretty much for any member or anyone with a connection to the church, that had their service at the church. Typically, people without connections to a church, have services at the funeral home, so for people with no connections, it really didn't come up much.

 

I'm not super surprised at the costs you've listed, only because I've always heard that you should plan on $6-10k for an average funeral. As morbid as it is, it's the only reason we carry life insurance on the kids. Some of the things you mentioned prices for a super crazy. It's not really a time when you can shop around either..............

 

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I'm of the secondhand lions viewpoint when it comes to my remains. "Bury me in the garden with the darn lion."

 

Seriously, we've got 40 something acres. Dig a hole and toss me in there. Don't put the family through the torture of a funeral home viewing where they have to sit around all dressed up receiving visitors for hours. Nobody wants to wear pantyhose when they're sad and they shouldn't have to.

 

Have pie at the house and receive visitors there. Roast some marshmallows and talk about things we did together. Talk about how Jesus gave me hope for eternity. Celebrate that with joy!

 

I think embalming is a racket. Let my body feed the earth. That's the way god designed the process of death anyway. I kind of like the idea of cows grazing on my grave. [emoji3]

 

 

 

 

 

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Best post! You make me want to buy a farm. Um, apart from the old euphamism, of course!

Edited by Seasider
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Not going to comment on how our parish and parishioners and my family have found ways to do things at very low cost...I've done that in a lot of other threads.  But I do want to pipe up and say two things:  

 

First, the cost of published obituaries is shocking.  It used to be considered NEWS but now it has become a financial mainstay of published papers.  The one I wrote for a friend 1.5 years ago would have been $1500!!!!  We cut it considerably, but it was still over $1000.  Many people found out about the person's passing away through the obituary, and the family could easily afford it so it wasn't a big deal for them.  But when my dad died, that was too much money for my mom, so we just put a short notice in the paper that referred people to the obituary kept forever, for free, on the funeral home's website.  That is how we found our way around that.  But it was still almost $100 just to have the birth, death dates and the reference to the website.  That was an eye-opener.

 

The other thing is that my dad had written down exactly what he wanted, both regarding his end of life and his memorial, and that gave me a lot of peace and the ability to make decisions without feeling like I was a piker or disrespectful or not a good daughter.  This was an enormous gift from him to me, and I am very thankful he did this.  My mom has the same thing in place, but we haven't had to test it yet.  Thank God.

 

My in-laws...oy.  "Whatever."  Like they are immune from death or something.  My dh had to handle his dad's arrangements and pay all the expenses as well, and all he got from his relatives was a bunch of criticism.  From across the country.  No cash, no help, no presence.  Thankfully, he has good sense, and we have the praxis of our faith, which gave us a lot of help in the decision-making.  It would have been a help if the parents had given one day's thought and preparation for all of this.  

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A lot of states do not allow you to bury someone "in the back yard" because it can be a serious public health issue...ground water, drinking supply, etc.

 

In Michigan you can do direct burial if you pay to keep the body refrigerated and have it in the ground within 48 hours. Mom was not willing to do it because she felt that he needed to be viewed, and that the out of state relatives needed to time to get there to view him. Sigh....she came to regret that decision as the whole viewing thing just exhausted her.

 

But you simply cannot just bury someone on your farm. That is a no no in nearly every township though it is not expressly prohibited by state law. Lots of local ordinances to check out when planning these things which is why most people end up dealing with the local funeral director because he or she knows everything.

 

As for the potluck aspect of the meal, that can't even be done in the county east of here. The commissioners passed a public health ordinance that any gathering of 25 or more people requires all non desert foods to be prepared in a commercial kitchen with a licensed preparer overseeing it because someone decided to have and all day graduation party and left potato salad or something outside at 90 degree temps all day and some guests were stupid enough to eat it! No exemptions for churches.

 

I think it would best if there was only a funeral dinner for the immediate family. All 325 or so people who attended father future's funeral came to eat because mom got it in her head that it was rude not to have a dinner for everyone. Another totally exhausting element of the day for those of us who were already barely on our feet after his hospitalizations, and caring for him at the end. (Hospice was wonderful, but two hours per day of help was all that was provided.)

 

These things really should be talked out, ironed out well in advance. Talk about it. Put it down on paper. Give your kids copies of the paper so everyone has seen it, no surprises, all on the same page.

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A lot of states do not allow you to bury someone "in the back yard" because it can be a serious public health issue...ground water, drinking supply, etc.

 

In Michigan you can do direct burial if you pay to keep the body refrigerated and have it in the ground within 48 hours. Mom was not willing to do it because she felt that he needed to be viewed, and that the out of state relatives needed to time to get there to view him. Sigh....she came to regret that decision as the whole viewing thing just exhausted her.

 

But you simply cannot just bury someone on your farm. That is a no no in nearly every township though it is not expressly prohibited by state law. Lots of local ordinances to check out when planning these things which is why most people end up dealing with the local funeral director because he or she knows everything.

 

As for the potluck aspect of the meal, that can't even be done in the county east of here. The commissioners passed a public health ordinance that any gathering of 25 or more people requires all non desert foods to be prepared in a commercial kitchen with a licensed preparer overseeing it because someone decided to have and all day graduation party and left potato salad or something outside at 90 degree temps all day and some guests were stupid enough to eat it! No exemptions for churches.

 

I think it would best if there was only a funeral dinner for the immediate family. All 325 or so people who attended father future's funeral came to eat because mom got it in her head that it was rude not to have a dinner for everyone. Another totally exhausting element of the day for those of us who were already barely on our feet after his hospitalizations, and caring for him at the end. (Hospice was wonderful, but two hours per day of help was all that was provided.)

 

These things really should be talked out, ironed out well in advance. Talk about it. Put it down on paper. Give your kids copies of the paper so everyone has seen it, no surprises, all on the same page.

 

...and I think people need to get more vocal regarding laws that are passed about these things.  Michigan has more laws to protect the funeral industry than almost any state in the US, and it causes people to bear enormous financial and emotional burdens.  

 

Funeral directors will flat out lie about what is required.  "It is required that one be embalmed...."  When one is grieving, one assumes that is the law...but it is just "required" by a particular funeral home.  I ran into this one when we were planning my dad's funeral, but I knew the LAW and the expensive funeral home was just flat lying...and telling what THEY required.  The law did not require embalming; this particular funeral home required it--so they could make more money.  (I found a different and much less expensive funeral home...and they were wonderful.)

 

I'm sorry for all of this--I remember reading about all the end-of-life issues you all faced and no wonder you were exhausted. 

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As for the potluck aspect of the meal, that can't even be done in the county east of here. The commissioners passed a public health ordinance that any gathering of 25 or more people requires all non desert foods to be prepared in a commercial kitchen with a licensed preparer overseeing it because someone decided to have and all day graduation party and left potato salad or something outside at 90 degree temps all day and some guests were stupid enough to eat it! No exemptions for churches.

 

 

I can't even imagine! I was raised in Southern Baptist churches and pot lucks are practically a sacred tradition.

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I'm of the secondhand lions viewpoint when it comes to my remains. "Bury me in the garden with the darn lion."

 

Seriously, we've got 40 something acres. Dig a hole and toss me in there. Don't put the family through the torture of a funeral home viewing where they have to sit around all dressed up receiving visitors for hours. Nobody wants to wear pantyhose when they're sad and they shouldn't have to.

 

Have pie at the house and receive visitors there. Roast some marshmallows and talk about things we did together. Talk about how Jesus gave me hope for eternity. Celebrate that with joy!

 

I think embalming is a racket. Let my body feed the earth. That's the way god designed the process of death anyway. I kind of like the idea of cows grazing on my grave. [emoji3]

 

 

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Amen!

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