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January 27, 2012


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My mother would also like a festive party when she goes. Growing up I thought that was strange. I don't know now, who else wants their survivors to party?

My mom always told me to scoop out all of the important bits that can be donated to science and throw the rest into a garbage bag. She's a fairly eclectic sort. But, who in the heck would want doves and balloons released? Come on... that IS a little much.

Agreed, I really don't understand the point of up selling at funeral homes.

Now for myself, I have written specifically in my will to donate my organs (donor card) when I go and to cremate the rest. Then, use the cremated me and stuff them into fireworks and shoot them over my childhood park.

Military Funeral Honors became a statutory benefit to all veterans with the signing of the National Defense Authorization Act in 2000. Every eligible veteran is entitled to receive a military funeral honors ceremony to include folding, presentation of the United States burial flag and the sounding of taps, AT NO COST to the family.

Any funeral home that charges for military honors is disreputable.

Keep it simple - bury me in a pine box please. I'm considering cremation but from a religious perspective I'm not sure if it's a good idea.

Funeral homes do a la carte everything. Its amazing they don't charge for electricity!

I was shocked at all the options and range of prices when planning a recent funeral.

But I have to admit I was most impressed by that funeral home's lack of sales pressure. Up front they stated flatly that none of this stuff is really important enough to blow any budget, always showed us the most basic things and asked if we'd be interested in looking into this upgrade or that before even showing it.

In a world that seems to constantly scare/shame/etc. everyone into upgrading everything, this was a really nice change for someone who sales to people at their most vunerable times, and I'm sure not the case for all funeral homes. Because when we complain about add-ons I assume we're complaining about sales pressure, because otherwise its nice to have options (I for one don't want the electronic extended warranty, but DO want fries any chance I can get...)

The funeral home for my father's funeral added on a fee for a video that was played at the wake and funeral, but it was actually quite beautiful.

I'm with everyone else, though: donate organs and cremate me, then throw a party in honor of my life.

$150 got us a guy in full Scottish garb to play "Amazing Grace" on bagpipes as we left the church. He also played at the grave sight, shivering in the snow. That was actually pretty cool, and much better than the insane obituary fee.

I was stunned six years ago when my mom died. It was $200/day to put the obituary in the Cincinnati Enquirer. When my dad checked out last year, it was $400/day!! This was just text, no photo.

When I take the dirt nap, we may just have to send a mass email and spend that money on a party!

I would bet that doves would cost more than $50. I'd bet minimum $100 and probably more like $200-$400 range.

Personally I don't care what people want to do for their funerals. If someone wants a bunch of doves or a rock band or a chocolate fountain or whatever then thats their choice. And if they want to spend a bunch of money then thats fine by me too as long as they can afford it. To each their own.

As Jennifer points out the military honors are provided as a free service by the U.S. military. There should not be a charge from the funeral home for that.
Bit it is quite possible the brochure was just advertising all the stuff they can do and not necessarily implying that they actually charge people for military honors. It did not have prices.

I'd always thought it would be neat to have my
body go to the University of Tennessee's 'body farm',
the forensic pathology training program where they
see how long it takes for a body to decompose under
various conditions....

I'm not surprised. However, I wanted to add that in addition to "add-on"s. There are some funeral homes which provide discounts or substitutes. Have you heard of casket rentals? It's where the family rents the nice casket for the funeral services at the church. There is typically no grave site service and the loved one is actually buried in a "pine box." or cremated. The difference can be significant, especially for a loved one who has not left money to their family.

I'm with Harm and Emily's mom: My healthy body served me well so if there's anything anyone else can use (organ donation, scientific study) take it and hopefully put the rest someplace where it can biodegrade and maybe fertilize a flower or two.

As for the ceremony/memorial/party/whatever -- I hope my survivors do whatever they want to do. I mean, it's the one party I'm guaranteed not to be at so why would I need to control it? Have a drunken dance party, a wailing wall, a knitting circle, put on a play, I don't care. Just be nice to each other and don't spend any more money than you need to -- money's for the living.

As to renting a casket, we suspect that a funeral home sold a casket to our family and then sliped the body out of it into a cheaper one for buriel. No way to prove it unless we did a dig up - and we aren't about to do that! Lesson learned, have a family member or trusted friend actually stay and watch the casket put into the ground and covered up.

Building on what Jennifer said, the military will also provide, free of charge, a grave marker. There are options for marble, slate or bronze with the Veteran's name, dates, branch of service and other information, ie... cross, Star-of-David.

For both my Father and my FIL, we've used this marker in lieu of a headstone.

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