Jump to content

Menu

S/O funeral costs-anyone familiar with having someone cremated (I have costs, logisitics, etc. questions)


HappyGrace
 Share

Recommended Posts

After recently losing a close loved one, dh and I are discussing our own plans for the first time. If you've planned a cremation:

 

Is it possible to just be cremated right away, and have the cremation place just dispose of the ashes? Is it cheaper that way than a regular funeral? (no coffin, urn, etc.)

 

For reasons of cost and not wanting anyone to have their last view of me be in a coffin, I'd like to be cremated asap in the cheapest way. I DON'T want my loved ones having my ashes to lug around-lol! And I don't want a burial. Then I just want a church memorial service.

 

I want people to remember how I was in life, and have the church service be a celebration of my life instead of morbid and sad with a body laying there.

 

My dh and kids are in agreement with my wishes (and dh will likely do the same). I just wondered if it's logistically possible? I'd love to hear any comments!

 

Also, if you had a loved one cremated, did it change the grieving process for you (in positive or negative ways)?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

DMIL was cremated without the extras. I'm not sure we could have refused the ashes, but getting them back was included in the charge. There was no urn, just a thick black plastic box inside a cardboard box, about the size of a shoebox. The cost was still nearly $2000, 3 years ago in FL.

 

The only regret for me was knowing that she wanted a burial next to her parents, and having her cremated instead. It was the only way financially possible to get her to that cemetery, several states away. Her ashes are buried there.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My mom was cremated in what was called a "direct cremation". I guess it is direct because it bypasses the funeral home and the body is picked up by the crematory and then my dad picked up her ashes. I don't know if it is possible to just never retrieve the ashes and have them taken care of by the whoever does the cremation?

 

It did not affect my grieving process at all. The only issue was that we found it much harder to explain to the little kids what happened to Grandma. Burying her in the ground sounds much nicer than the reality of cremation. So that was the tough thing to explain.

 

One hard thing was a that my mom was morbidly obese. We had to have some discussion of how many ashes there would be, would she fit in one box or two (we were interring her ashes in the columbarium at my church where the niche we purchased was supposed to be for two people. I remember discussion of whether or not she would fit, etc. That was hard. Though I imagine it would have been as unpleasant to discuss how large the casket had to be.

 

We would chose cremation for ourselves and other family members again.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you are going for inexpensive, it's called "direct cremation."  You can supply any container you wish; it need not be expensive.  I don't know that the crematory will just "keep or dispose of the ashes."    Direct cremation by the mortuary we will use (and our parish uses, but not for cremation) includes everything including transportation to the mortuary, a cheap container and all the paperwork filing for $700.  

 

Your last question is answered in a lot of studies available on the internet.  It find it interesting that funeral directors (who see it all) plan funerals and burial of the body (not cremation) for their own families when it is possible.  Of course, they get a break on expenses, but when you read further in the interviews and so on, this is not the main motivation for the decision.  There is also a lot to be said for having a specified location for the disposition of the ashes.  

 

PERSONAL ANECDOTE, and disclaimer:  I have religious views about this, so bear that in mind.  My dad was cremated.  It was his wish and given the fact that his religion says nothing about it one way or the other, and given that he and my mom made post mortem arrangements that really would be a PITB to execute with a burial of the body, it was OK by me.  That said, I still have a sense of unfinished business with my dad because his ashes are still sitting in a bedroom closet, awaiting burial with my mom's ashes, may that be a long time from now.  I am observing closely someone in grief who seems to be a little "stuck" and I wonder if it is due to the ashes of the loved one being right by the bed they once shared.  I know grief comes in waves, and so on...and truly I am not judging.  But I do wonder if there isn't a need for closure of some sort.  Not disappearance, but not a sort of limbo either.  This has less to do with cremation vs. burial than with how the remains are treated, I think.  I am musing, not being directive here.

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't know the details of the cremation, but one of my uncles was cremated and an "urn" was purchased from Hobby Lobby by the family. He had very little money for a funeral. 

 

 

As for disposal of the ashes, I agree with Patty. I once cremated a dog and it was the hardest thing to carry around her ashes. I had no where I felt right to put them and broke down every time I ran across them in memory box in the basement. We had two other dogs that passed away just a few months apart although several years after the first one, so we buried the ashes with them. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My grandmother wanted to be cremated, so my mother did so, but she had a funeral first, with a viewing in a casket, so that increased the costs significantly (though the casket was rented). She then had her sister (my aunt) cremated, due to costs.

 

Mom is in a nursing home with Alzheimer's now. I suspect she might want to be buried, not cremated, but we can't ask her (she is nonverbal). Dad is not religious and wants for both of them to be cremated and then buried together in one burial plot, next to his parents. Since he is the only parent that I can ask about wishes, we will respect his wishes for him and Mom.

 

Mom did not handle the ashes of her loved ones at all. They were sent to the cemetery and buried; this is what we will do for my mom and dad as well. I have no desire to have possession of their ashes at any time.

 

Cremation did not change my grieving process for my grandmother and aunt. I don't know how I will feel about it for my parents.

 

I don't like to think about the bodies being burned. It disturbs me, and I prefer the idea of burial. But I am also very frugal and will not want others to have to pay my burial costs, so if my family chooses cremation for me .....I won't be around to be bothered by the idea any more. I may eventually come around to wanting it for myself. I do not want an open casket in any case.

 

ETA: You can bury two sets of cremains in the same burial plot, if you would like to have a grave with a marker instead of just having an unburied urn. Buying the plot and marker will increase costs, of course, but sharing the grave will be cheaper.

Edited by Storygirl
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 years ago it was @$1000ish for an immediate cremation and box urn. This included retrieval of the body.

 

There is a place here that will allow family members to be present when body is placed in the crematorium but they charge extra for it.

 

Fwiw, I also know a person who is still sleeping with their loved one's ashes and they are also not moving on with life very well. The worst part is that they refuse to allow a service for other people and other family members are also having a difficult time with closure.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks so much for the comments so far-I very much appreciate you sharing your personal thoughts. That is exactly how I feel-I do NOT want my ashes hanging around with my family after I'm gone; I think it may stall or draw out the grieving process for my family, and I don't want to be thought of as the ashes on the dresser or whatever.

 

I certainly don't want to pay for the ashes to be buried, and for me it's an upsetting thought to have the family scatter them somewhere (totally personal opinion here-I know it gives great comfort to some people to have their or their loved ones' ashes spread in a place that's meaningful to them).

 

So I really hope there is a way they can just get rid of the ashes at the crematorium.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 years ago it was @$1000ish for an immediate cremation and box urn. This included retrieval of the body.

 

There is a place here that will allow family members to be present when body is placed in the crematorium but they charge extra for it.

 

Fwiw, I also know a person who is still sleeping with their loved one's ashes and they are also not moving on with life very well. The worst part is that they refuse to allow a service for other people and other family members are also having a difficult time with closure.

 

The person I referred to had a memorial.  That did help a LOT...so ITA.

 

When my beloved "second father" died on New Year's Day 1991, I could not attend the funeral.  No way around it.  And for MONTHS I could not stop crying just thinking about him.  A lot.  Finally, I got a copy of the funeral service and sat down by myself at my piano and read all the scriptures, played all the hymns and had a sort of "private-joint" funeral.  (I joined in with what had been done with and by others who loved him."  And I bawled like a baby.  But that was the last time.  I teared up .... and still do .... from time to time, but not as frequently and not as ... uncontrollable.  (There's a better word but I can't think of it...where is that son of mine when I need him?  He's a walking thesaurus.)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When my mom passed, a nurse gave us the number of THE crematorium in the big city. It was the one the local funeral homes use.

 

I want to say it was under/around $1000. The ashes came in a very nice wood box that was certified to travel.

 

Eta: we spread her ashes when we went back to Newport Beach last fall. We saved some to spread her other places too

Edited by MooCow
Link to comment
Share on other sites

My grandpa was cremated, his ashes were placed in a simple box by the funeral home and the box was buried at the cemetery just like a casket might be taken there following the funeral service. Those were his wishes.

 

My mom was the one who placed the box in the ground and it was an extremely tender moment. She is not a person who showed much tenderness at all and I appreciated being able to see that side of her.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks so much for the comments so far-I very much appreciate you sharing your personal thoughts. That is exactly how I feel-I do NOT want my ashes hanging around with my family after I'm gone; I think it may stall or draw out the grieving process for my family, and I don't want to be thought of as the ashes on the dresser or whatever.

 

I certainly don't want to pay for the ashes to be buried, and for me it's an upsetting thought to have the family scatter them somewhere (totally personal opinion here-I know it gives great comfort to some people to have their or their loved ones' ashes spread in a place that's meaningful to them).

 

So I really hope there is a way they can just get rid of the ashes at the crematorium.

 

How much do you think it will cost to have the ashes buried?  Curious.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My mom was cremated last year and it was "direct" meaning they came and picked her body up from the hospital and transported her.  We were then able to meet them and my sisters & I along with other beloved women of our faith were able to dress her in her religious clothing before cremation.  My dad received her ashes along with her wedding ring and a sterling silver ring that my little brother gave her when he was about 7 yo.  He bought it at a school holiday fair and she wore it every day for the next 30 years.  

 

We had a memorial and my dad bought a plot where he & mom can have their ashes interred, but he hasn't done it yet.  The work is about finished on a memorial dog park with her name on it in my hometown.  I think the opening of the park this Fall will also be the time my dad has her ashes interred.  

 

About 4 months after my mom died, dh's uncle also died unexpectedly.  This was my Mil's only sibling and the only surviving member of her family of origin.  Due to health reasons she couldn't attend.  My Dh attended and I picked out a floral arrangement.  For my MIL I sent her a mini version of the floral arrangement so she could feel connected in some way.  I wish I had thought of a way for her to hear the music as well, but I was being crushed under the weight of my own grief and barely functioning.

 

I do want to say the kindest thing to do is to make your plans clear.  If you don't want an open casket, fancy casket, expensive flowers or meal, make that clear.  Funeral planning is all the pain of wedding planning with none of the happiness. I would know because my dd got married 3 months after my mom died.  I kept wondering if anyone would notice if I re-used some of the things from my mom's funeral for dd's reception, or if I could get some kind of discount for making bulk orders.  Don't worry I didn't, but I was in such a fog and I know I don't want my kids to be trying to figure out what I wanted.  

 

Amber in SJ

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Four years ago when Mom passed away the funeral home transported her body from the hospital, cremated her, and provided about a dozen copies of a death certificate for under $1000.  Dad had them put her remains in a gallon size pickle jar. My sisters and I made a quilt to fit around the jar and I embroidered Mom and Dad's names and a saying on the quilt.  Yeah, it sounds really weird but you have to know my folks...it's perfect for them. 

No idea what we are going to do with their remains once Dad passes but the plan is for both of their ashes to be in the jar- there is plenty of room for both. 

 

 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

We did direct cremation for my FIL. I believe it was just under $2000.

 

They picked up the body from the hospital and contacted us regarding our wishes and then we picked up the remains a few days later.

 

I wrote the obituary and put it in the paper. It was $$$$ even for a very short one.

 

We then had a funeral at the Catholic Church he attended. We did an hour of visitation right before and then a luncheon by the church ladies right after.

 

I told my husband he can do the same for me. DH might end up with a more traditional service as his tribe pays for that and will do some Native stuff with it as well.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks so much for sharing! I still am wondering about the crematorium disposing of ashes-there must be people that would want that done!

 

I do think it's a gift to the loved ones to make things clear, if possible, so they're not wondering or trying to figure it out while grieving.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Both my maternal grandparents, and one of my aunts, who died young, were cremated. They are all interred together in a regular cemetery, at a plot, inside a stone bench. Their names and dates are on the front and a Scripture verse is on the back of it.

 

They each have special urns. One thing of note is to consider how large of an urn you buy...and if it fits in the allotted space. We almost couldn't get Grandpa's remains into the bench due to the cumulative sizes of the three urns in the space together.

 

They had memorial services a few weeks after their cremations were each done so no viewings. And, we had meals afterward. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks so much for sharing! I still am wondering about the crematorium disposing of ashes-there must be people that would want that done!

 

I do think it's a gift to the loved ones to make things clear, if possible, so they're not wondering or trying to figure it out while grieving.

 

My co-worker told me that many years ago, one of her parents purchased a prepaid cremation plan from the Neptune Society.  These are the details she told me:

 

When her parent dies, either my co-worker or a staff member from the parent's assisted living residence will call the Neptune Society.  Their representative will come to get the body, will handle the cremation details, and will scatter the ashes at sea.

 

It might be worth an inquiry.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My co-worker told me that many years ago, one of her parents purchased a prepaid cremation plan from the Neptune Society. These are the details she told me:

 

When her parent dies, either my co-worker or a staff member from the parent's assisted living residence will call the Neptune Society. Their representative will come to get the body, will handle the cremation details, and will scatter the ashes at sea.

 

It might be worth an inquiry.

I don't know a lot about the services they offer but the local office seriously overcharged my friend for a biodegradable container. A paper box with a paper rose on it:$250. You can get one just like it a Michaels for $19. And the local office contact guy was really disorganized. I went with my friend to pick up her mom's ashes and it was NOT a good experience.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't know the cost for my dad, but they did direct cremation.  His ashes were placed in an burial urn to allow time to delay the funeral. A month later, there was a traditional memorial service and his urn was buried in a burial plot.  I think I remembered her saying that it all cost under $3000 including memorial.

 

My mom will be cremated and buried next to him.

 

My father was an avid outdoors person, and I would have preferred his ashes spread in nature, but it wasn't my choice.  I have zero interest in ever going to visit a grave site because I don't mourn that way.  The idea that dead people will take up space on earth for eternity, seems really, really strange to me.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Disclaimer--I don't mean to offend anyone by comparing pets to people (I know sometimes folks do get offended by that, so just putting it out there).

 

The pet crematorium here has an option for a pet to be individually cremated but for them to dispose of the ashes. Supposedly the ashes are scattered at a tree farm up in the mountains. That's what we have done with our deceased pets.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...