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Old 05-03-2016, 09:05 AM   #41
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regarding the body, I don't think anyone has the right to occupy space after they die. There has been in excess of 100 trillion people on this earth (estimated) and over 7 trillion currently. Can you imagine if we all took up space in a cemetery? That is a lot of real estate.
lol...wut?

you have your trillions and billions messed up. 7.1billion people currently and 110ish billion total throughout history.
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Old 05-03-2016, 09:05 AM   #42
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My dad died a couple years ago after several years of declining physical and mental health. We carried out his wishes for cremation with the only service being dropping his ashes in the middle of the local ferry run with a few close family members in observance. The ferry system does a fine job on this. They make an announcement and clear the top deck so the party can have a few private moments, and slow or stop the boat during the service (depending on the run) and blow the horn. Afterwards, they give you a lovely photo of a sunset over the water, with the latitude and longitude of where the ashes were placed.

Mom wants the same thing when her time comes. I think it's a little odd that neither want a large memorial service, since they are well-known business people in this town and accustomed to ceremonial events with their social club. I get the feeling they don't want a bunch of people saying things about them in front of a crowd when they're not present.
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Old 05-03-2016, 09:07 AM   #43
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Wouldn't it be nicer if people spent the money and gave the attention while the person was still alive to enjoy it? I note the trend toward referring to funerals as "celebrations of life"; in my view, people should put their money where their mouth is, and celebrate the person's actual life with the person actually there.
It's possible to do both, you know. My Ex's grandmother, an Italian matriarch, was taken care of by her daughters when she couldn't live by herself. They each took her for a few months at a time. When she died at age 102, she was buried in one of the gaudiest caskets I've ever seen (a brass replica of the Pieta at each corner, brass bas- relief of The Last Supper on the long sides). She would have loved it but it's not something I'd pay for.

And, when Dad goes, which I hope will not be for awhile, I'll finally be able to tell what he just confessed to me last month: the baby chick my sister got one Easter, which grew into an obnoxious rooster whose crowing annoyed our suburban neighbors, did NOT run away. When we were out of the house with Mom (who knew about this), he decapitated it, then called his mother for help on butchering it, and it became dinner one night.
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Old 05-03-2016, 09:31 AM   #44
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A few months ago we saw a sign for an estate sale at our neighbor's house. We've lived adjacent to her for 33 years and she must have been in her 80s. The first thing I did was check the obituaries and she wasn't listed so I thought she had gone to assisted living or a nursing home. Another neighbor told DH that she had died last fall and the family didn't put any notices in the paper.

It was an odd feeling to find out that she had been dead for 6 months and we had no idea.

I've told my family that when I go they should donate anything usable and then I want to be cremated. I've specified no burial. They can keep the ashes until they are ready to let go and then I want to be sprinkled in a nearby river.

We buried my Dad last month and his very simple graveside service with a plain pine casket came to close to $8500. That doesn't include the plot and what we prepaid to the cemetery when Mom died in 2011. Because we used a double headstone we had fees to guarantee that his adjoining plot would be used. Then there are the costs of the stone and the engraving.

In January we pre-planned and prepaid for what we knew was upcoming for Dad. There were a few minor adjustments after the fact. In order to bury Dad, the double stone had to be moved - $250 was the largest additional charge.

There are three entities to deal with - the funeral home, the cemetery and the headstone company. Each one has their basic fees, their fees for your particular use of services and then some miscellaneous fee with a broad description. The funeral home charged us a cemetery fee that the cemetery had already been paid for back when Mom died. I had kept all the receipts and they quickly adjusted the charge.

We were lucky that Dad had enough money to cover all of this. It's got to be difficult when a loved one dies and you and your siblings have to come up with the money along with dealing with all the emotions.
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Old 05-03-2016, 09:35 AM   #45
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[QUOTE=harley;1726481]If someone is an active churchgoer, and the minister knows them, that's one thing. But there's very little more depressing (IMO) that going to a funeral and listening to a standard eulogy by a minister for someone who is essentially a stranger. Even worse is when they get things wrong, or mispronounce the name or something.

As a minister, believe me, the only funeral harder to officiate than someone you don't know is a funeral service for someone you don't know, but the family has never had any religious affiliation, but feel obligated to have a minister bury them. What am I supposed to say?

On a different train of thought, last summer, I "officiated" at an Irish wake for a friend who I had played volleyball with. The family wanted only a private family service, but all his friends wanted to do something. So we sat around talking about memories, toasted him and then went out onto the sand and played a couple of games in his honor. That was the most fun "funeral" I've ever been a part of.
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Old 05-03-2016, 11:14 AM   #46
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My parents passed 5 years apart, they were cremated. We had a church visitation for their friends and remaining family in the area. There was a second celebration for a couple of close family members and my siblings. We managed to take their remains back to where they honeymooned at 75 years prior. Watching the ashes sink into the deep waters was an amazing experience, I got more closure from that than the church service.
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Old 05-03-2016, 11:15 AM   #47
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DH's father passed away last month, and had prepaid for a full service with a local company. He'd been unawares, living in a nursing home, for about 7 years. DH's mom really wanted the whole enchilada done, flowers, etc.

Honestly, it was all just creepy. The viewing (I was as politely unwilling as I could be) was macabre, and the only real highlight was a longtime friend who gave a heartfelt eulogy, with stories I'd never known about how my FIL had brought him to a religious conversion and been a strong mentor in his early life. That was nice. The minister didn't know him at all, but did his best to give a generic service.

But for the rest, it seemed a shame that FIL had scraped together that money for a funeral rather than use it for some comforts while he could appreciate them.

Bring on the Viking funeral for me and mine.
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Old 05-03-2016, 11:40 AM   #48
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Originally Posted by Bigdawg View Post
regarding the body, I don't think anyone has the right to occupy space after they die. There has been in excess of 100 trillion people on this earth (estimated) and over 7 trillion currently. Can you imagine if we all took up space in a cemetery? That is a lot of real estate.
Um, those are billions.
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Old 05-03-2016, 11:44 AM   #49
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As far as I am aware, I expect to be dead and in no position to care or to object. That said, in my circle, there is a Masonic memorial service, drinks, dinner and cigars a few months after the actual croaking. I find these comforting. I have arranged to do the medical school thing as I am far beyond harvesting.

However if my kids were to get religious (better not after that expensive education) who knows what the clergy might get them up to.
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Old 05-03-2016, 11:45 AM   #50
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lol...wut?

you have your trillions and billions messed up. 7.1billion people currently and 110ish billion total throughout history.
Must work for the gov't. What are a few decimal places anyway? Million, billion, trillion, gazillion...it's all the same.
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Old 05-03-2016, 12:09 PM   #51
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Million, billion, trillion, gazillion...it's all the same.
To paraphrase a quote, apparently misattributed to Everett Dirksen, "Pretty soon you're talking real bodies".
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Old 05-03-2016, 12:18 PM   #52
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My experiences dealing with family members that passed away where I have been the person responsible for making most of the decisions (I said most) on handling the planning and details are as follows:

1. Dad - Mom was in a nursing home recovering from a stroke when Dad passed from heart failure. He wanted to be buried in a family plot in Pittston, PA where his parents (whom I never met - died before I was born) were buried. Somehow, I found the plots and had his body flown there from CT and my two sisters and I were part of a graveside burial. Couldn't find any living relatives in Pa at the time to attend the service.

2. Mom - She was in California living with youngest sister in a rental house of mine. She had kidney failure and died in the hospital at 86. We had her cremated and shipped the ashes (and my sister) to PA where she had the Mom's urn buried next to Dad. I didn't go. A memorial service was done in Ca when my sister got back. I was there for that.

3. Oldest daughter - Passed unexpectedly in Texas at age 22. Devastating. I had a full funeral and burial service for her. I was divorced at the time and was raising both daughters on my own. Probably the hardest thing I ever did on my existence on this earth was go through that funeral.

4. Ex wife - she passed a few years ago from illnesses related to years of substance abuse. Her only two brothers, living in other states, did not want to participate in any service or cost event (great guys, huh?). Ex's parents had passed years earlier. Youngest daughter and I had her cremated. The ashes were given to our only surviving daughter. There was no memorial service or obituary.

When my time is up, I want to be cremated and whoever ends up with the ashes can do whatever they feel is the best way to dispose of them. I don't wish for a memorial service to be held and an obituary is optional, but it better be short if paying for a spot in the newspaper.
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Old 05-03-2016, 12:23 PM   #53
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I want to be cremated and put in a veteran's cemetery with a military ceremony. I want my son to remember me as someone who served his country. Whether or not there is a church service, God knows my faith.


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Old 05-03-2016, 12:52 PM   #54
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When my time is up, I want to be cremated and whoever ends up with the ashes can do whatever they feel is the best way to dispose of them. I don't wish for a memorial service to be held and an obituary is optional, but it better be short if paying for a spot in the newspaper.
Depending on who is left to "end up with the ashes" it can be an unpleasant imposition on them when suddenly there you are. Unless you either want to:

1. Punish someone you disliked by dumping the chore on them, or

2. Have a loved one who, at least initially, really wants to have the ashes.

You should just leave instructions for the crematory to dispose of your ashes. It's easy to make the situation sound cavalier by saying "do whatever they feel is the best way to dispose of them," but it likely won't be cavalier. Unless you know otherwise, it will likely be a pita for them.
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Old 05-03-2016, 12:58 PM   #55
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That said, in my circle, there is a Masonic memorial service, drinks, dinner and cigars a few months after the actual croaking. I find these comforting.
You won't find the memorial service, drinks, dinner and cigars ceremony held for you comforting at all. You'll be dead.
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Old 05-03-2016, 01:02 PM   #56
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When my grandmother (although raised me, so she was Mom to me) died, she had direct cremation. No funeral, no service, just a small gathering at the house with some friends and family. She died at home (pallative care), so the people that were important to her were there when she passed and were able to say their goodbyes. She currently still 'resides' in a cardboard box sitting on the bar...yes, she was the original minimalist!

When Dad dies, he will also get the 'same treatment' (direct cremation). We will have a form of Irish Wake. Seeing how he has a happy hour at his home every Sunday when friends and family come and visit and drink, we figured it will be fitting to do the same when he passes. Of course, he will be in the card board box sitting in a position of honor. Then, their cremains will be combined and during our travels, they will be spread to the 'four corners of the world'.

My Mom and (in the future, Dad) had/will have Obits. One of the first thing Dad does when he gets up in the AM is check his hometown paper to see if "he's still alive." I can't deny him that last pleasure...

As for me and my DW...we think that the funeral industry is one of the biggest rip offs out there. So, we have opted for green funerals. Basically, our remains (after organ donation) will go off to a natural cemetery and we will either be planted in a burlap sack or perhaps in one of the new 'pods' that are gaining popularity. Embalming? No way, no how. I think if people knew how invasive that procedure REALLY is, they would think twice about it all...but that's just me.

Oh yes...here is a link for the burial pods...

Bye-Bye Coffins, These Organic Burial Pods Turn Your Loved Ones Into Trees
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No funeral or memorial service
Old 05-03-2016, 01:13 PM   #57
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No funeral or memorial service

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We managed to take their remains back to where they honeymooned at 75 years prior. Watching the ashes sink into the deep waters was an amazing experience, I got more closure from that than the church service.
Wow. My parents honeymooned in Cook Forest State Park, PA, where my mother's family had gone since she was a child, and the extended family went for many years. I could see saving some of their ashes to scatter there even though we're all out of the area.

One more story: Dad was a metallurgical engineer and a fellow coworker became a close personal friend. When the coworker died, someone took some of the ashes from NC, where the funeral was held, back to Ohio and threw them into a heat of steel (their word for a batch created in a very hot furnace), in accordance with the friend's wishes.
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Old 05-03-2016, 01:23 PM   #58
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Well, there's what I want, and there's what is likely to happen. I'd like a nice get-together with some good things to eat and drink and some quality Santana in the background. Just close family and a couple of good friends. No dead bodies on display, a quick cremation, get rid of the ashes. Then back home for more eating, drinking and reminiscing. It's paid for in my will.

If a larger, extended family group is involved that probably won't happen, most of the people attending will be there because they feel obligated and will say things about me that they would never say to me, and someone may even want a dead body as proof. If that's the case, stale cookies and cold coffee. Get it over as quickly as possible.

I'd like some Hendrix but I know it'll never happen.
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Old 05-03-2016, 01:38 PM   #59
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Now that's pretty interesting!
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Old 05-03-2016, 08:43 PM   #60
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The organic burial pods are interesting, a cemetery full of trees, but what happens if Momma's tree dies....Momma died twice. I know a horticulturist that got upset that a shrub was named after her. She said she didn't want to hear that the Pieris japonica 'Mary Doe" died.
Military funeral bother me, the last one I attended, the jets flying over in the missing man formation and taps seem to upset more people.
My husband and I aren't that old and the few friends that have died were not in the greatest shape due to illness or accidents. So they were cremated and a memorial service held. We both want to be cremated and have the crematory dispose of the ashes. We don't want any newspaper announcement.
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