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Old 05-15-2018, 05:03 PM
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Default Just back from the funeral home, feedback requested

Went there at 9am today to talk about "pre-planning." This is really a good idea because it allows you to do some planning while you are unemotional. But as for cost savings, it was only about 5 percent to pay everything upfront. The funeral home guy was very candid and said "I wouldn't pay in advance...we've got everything written down and the prices will be good...just call."

-The casket is around $3800 and change.
-A nice spray of flowers for the top around $250.
-Digging and filling a grave is $2000 or so - that's the cemetery's charge
-A few other odds and ends, and it's $8200 out the door
-A burial plot with concrete crypt is going to be around $3K-ish

To honor my father, I am going to do his funeral and memorial in a pretty non-traditional way: When he dies, we will have a graveside service and burial for family only. The next day, we will be having a full barbeque catered lunch at our church for all friends and family, paid for by my dad's estate.

Instead of a bunch of crying around and sad songs, we are going to make it a celebration with good food and maybe a slide show, and I'm going to have an open mic for folks who would like to share a favorite memory.

My dad will be in such a better place than he's been in so many years, it will finally be time to celebrate instead of mourn.

Am I completely off my rocker on this?
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Old 05-15-2018, 05:22 PM
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It's important to honor your father's wishes. It seems he would like his passing celebrated, as a life well lived with much love from family, friends and colleagues.
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Old 05-15-2018, 05:25 PM
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The casket is around $3800 and change.

Am I completely off my rocker on this?
You're not off your rocker at all. I think what you describe sounds wonderful.

My only tip, as I mentioned previously, would be to check online for the casket price. You can probably get an identical one for 1/2 to 2/3 of that price, maybe less. It's just a matter of if you want to take that extra step to save $1,000 or more.
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Old 05-15-2018, 05:37 PM
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You're not off your rocker at all. I think what you describe sounds wonderful.

My only tip, as I mentioned previously, would be to check online for the casket price. You can probably get an identical one for 1/2 to 2/3 of that price, maybe less. It's just a matter of if you want to take that extra step to save $1,000 or more.
Yeah I thought about that. However, there's a guy here who hand makes very nice rustic pine caskets. My dad really likes the rustic look, so I figure it's worth it to support someone local who takes pride in his work, as well as my friend at the funeral home. The funeral home folks are local and are really good people - no b.s. This is their 4th generation now.
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Old 05-15-2018, 06:46 PM
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Yeah I thought about that. However, there's a guy here who hand makes very nice rustic pine caskets. My dad really likes the rustic look, so I figure it's worth it to support someone local who takes pride in his work
Thatís different. In that case, $3,800 sounds like a great deal. I think your whole plan is excellent.
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Old 05-15-2018, 07:36 PM
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What did the funeral home guy mean when he recommended not pre-paying and said, "We've got everything written down?"
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Old 05-15-2018, 07:46 PM
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What did the funeral home guy mean when he recommended not pre-paying and said, "We've got everything written down?"
He just wrote all the stuff down I wanted and put it in a file. He said they practically never raise prices so it's all good. He didn't make me sign anything.
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Old 05-15-2018, 09:35 PM
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Very well planned indeed. What is the expected cost of the catered barbeque? My parents already picked out their catered foods as well when it is their time down to the exact foods.
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Old 05-16-2018, 05:25 AM
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I would advise you to let friends and family know in advance that it is supposed to be a celebration and not "a funeral". My grandmother insisted on having a party and no crying was allowed. So we did our best and had a kind of party atmosphere and laughed a little. It was rather unfortunate that only the immediate family knew her wishes because it rubbed a lot of the other people the wrong way. It has been 10 years and some are just starting to speak to my mother again. But your family might be a lot more normal than mine.
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Old 05-16-2018, 08:00 AM
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Very well planned indeed. What is the expected cost of the catered barbeque? My parents already picked out their catered foods as well when it is their time down to the exact foods.
Who knows. A $ grand or two?
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Old 05-16-2018, 08:58 AM
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the prices sound fair and the BBQ sounds like a celebration of his life, I think he would be proud.
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Old 05-16-2018, 10:14 AM
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Sounds great!!

My in-laws pre paid for their funeral but you know what? The funeral home changed hands, but the new place honored what they paid and deducted from today's costs. So fil owed a little more for mil funeral.

Because of their experience I wouldn't prepay.
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Old 05-16-2018, 10:19 AM
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My in-laws pre paid for their funeral but you know what? The funeral home changed hands, but the new place honored what they paid and deducted from today's costs. So fil owed a little more for mil funeral.

Because of their experience I wouldn't prepay.
There are lots of reasons not to prepay. The funeral home could go out of business or get sold. The person's wishes could change. Folks could move. I have relatives who bought cemetery plots in PA but later retired and moved to FL. When my aunt died, she was buried there. My uncle followed years later. I don't know what they did with the PA plots but I'm guessing they sold them off somehow. Fortunately, they hadn't pre-paid their whole funeral. The savings isn't that big to be worth the risk. Obviously, the funeral homes only offer it because it benefits them.
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Old 05-16-2018, 10:25 AM
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I think most people do it to not burden their children with it. That was my in-laws reasoning anyway.

Dh and I are just going to be cremated, and then the kids can have a memorial mass for us. Nice and easy for them.
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Old 05-16-2018, 10:28 AM
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I think most people do it to not burden their children with it. That was my in-laws reasoning anyway.
Absolutely. That's the appeal to the customer for sure. And I think that makes a lot of sense in that regard. Plus that way you get what you want, though honestly, after I'm dead, I'm not going to be around to care.

My wife knows my preference would be to be cremated and have my ashes dumped in Seven Seas Lagoon at Disney World but I know she'd never actually do that.
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Old 05-16-2018, 11:16 AM
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This is a great idea, and I would like to mimic this myself when that day approaches.
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Old 05-16-2018, 11:36 AM
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Sounds like a good plan to me. Your dad is lucky to have someone like you taking care of him.
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Old 05-16-2018, 02:28 PM
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Absolutely. That's the appeal to the customer for sure. And I think that makes a lot of sense in that regard. Plus that way you get what you want, though honestly, after I'm dead, I'm not going to be around to care.

My wife knows my preference would be to be cremated and have my ashes dumped in Seven Seas Lagoon at Disney World but I know she'd never actually do that.
I've wrestled with cremation, but I feel it might be disrespectful to his many friends, relatives, and generations of folks yet to be born, who might actually gain solace by visiting his actual grave now and then. One of the downsides of cremation is that we rob people of this. There's something to be said for a final resting place of a body, appropriately memorialized with a handsome headstone and a few nice words.
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Old 05-16-2018, 04:29 PM
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I've wrestled with cremation, but I feel it might be disrespectful to his many friends, relatives, and generations of folks yet to be born, who might actually gain solace by visiting his actual grave now and then. One of the downsides of cremation is that we rob people of this. There's something to be said for a final resting place of a body, appropriately memorialized with a handsome headstone and a few nice words.
Just to be clear in case it came across that way, I was in no way suggesting that you should consider cremation for your father.

As for having a grave to visit, I'm personally finding that to be a very generational thing. My mother's generation puts great value on that. She visits the cemeteries of her loved ones several times a year. Others her age do the same.

My wife and I and our peers do it very little if at all.The only times I've visited my father's and brother's graves were when I took my mother to the cemetery. I've never once gone on my own. I don't think my wife has been back to her father's grave since his unveiling (when the memorial plaque was dedicated). That was nearly 24 years ago. We simply don't feel the need to be at that spot to remember them or feel closer to them in any way.

My daughter and her peers think the entire concept of burying dead bodies in hermetically sealed boxes where they will never decompose and return to the earth is insane and entirely unfriendly to the environment (and they certainly aren't wrong about that). I can't see her ever going to a cemetery and I think that line of thinking is part of why the cremation rate is higher than ever. It was 5% in 1970. It's now just over 50% and still climbing.

One option for someone who feels having a physical memorial is important but aren't into burial is to get a nice memorial plaque at a cemetery. Many have buildings devoted to this purpose today. Honestly, I "visit" the memorial plaques for my father and brother at our synagogue somewhat regularly as compared to their actual gravesites which I haven't been to for a couple of years.
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Last edited by disneysteve; 05-16-2018 at 04:34 PM.
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Old 05-16-2018, 04:35 PM
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Just to be clear in case it came across that way, I was in no way suggesting that you should consider cremation for your father.

As for having a grave to visit, I'm personally finding that to be a very generational thing. My mother's generation puts great value on that. She visits the cemeteries of her loved ones several times a year. Others her age do the same.

My wife and I and our peers do it very little if at all.The only times I've visited my father's and brother's graves were when I took my mother to the cemetery. I've never once gone on my own. I don't think my wife has been back to her father's grave since his unveiling (when the memorial plaque was dedicated). That was nearly 24 years ago. We simply don't feel the need to be at that spot to remember them or feel closer to them in any way.

My daughter and her peers think the entire concept of burying dead bodies in hermetically sealed boxes where they will never decompose and return to the earth is insane and entirely unfriendly to the environment (and they certainly aren't wrong about that). I can't see her ever going to a cemetery and I think that line of thinking is part of why the cremation rate is higher than ever. It was 5% in 1970. It's now just over 50% and still climbing.

One option if for someone who feels having a physical memorial is important but aren't into burial is to get a nice memorial plaque at a cemetery. Many have buildings devoted to this purpose today. Honestly, I "visit" the memorial plaques for my father and brother at our synagogue somewhat regularly as compared to their actual gravesites which I haven't been to for a couple of years.
No you're good. I have no problem with others getting cremated. Burying bodies does give me the creeps for sure.

There are lot of benefits for cremation.

One of my biggest problems with the traditional burial is that they still aren't offering memory foam as an option in the casket.
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