Buried in Installments

JB and I are now on the payment plan for our funerals. For the two of us, burial costs are nearly as much as a new car (which we also need to purchase this summer). We got the bare bones deal (so to speak)—-plain pine box, no frills or extras, the simplest possible version.

Still, it’s expensive to get put into the ground. There are the labor costs for digging the hole and filling it again. The cemetery plots themselves are a purchased piece of property. There’s the casket, the preparation of the body, transporting the remains, and, yes, even a cost for the refrigeration. There are the cost of copies of the death certificates and registration fees for the plots (new state law). We opted out of an obituary in the paper ($400!). It is so wonderful that so many are benefitting so much from our eventual demise.

There were innumerable details to discuss and a pile of papers to sign. It took over two hours to get through it all. And all of it had to be processed through an insurance company because “you’re not allowed to prepay for your own funeral.” Now really, so how is it we are prepaying for our funeral? Oh, right, the insurance company has to make some money too. Silly me.

The woman from the cemetery, who was guiding us through all the paperwork and taking our checks, said, in a rehearsed and polished tone, “I know this must be very emotional for the both of you now, to do this.”

We both simultaneously responded, “No, this is not emotional. We’re fine with all this. What IS distressing is how much this costs.”

So, the installment plan it is… I hope the payments don’t kill us.

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5 Responses to Buried in Installments

  1. JEROME BLOOM says:







    IF SO



  2. Michael says:

    Nice ending “Hope the payments won’t kill us!” LOL.

    G and I have chosen to be cremated. I love taking a very hot bath and imagine it will feel something like that. We haven’ t checked into the costs but probably should do so. Thanks for the friendly reminder.

    As far as the ashes, I want to be taken to the circus and Gregory wants to go swimming in Lake Michigan. We laugh about his choice as we imagine friends and family gathered piously in our condo, a few words kindly spoken, then we each put our right hand on the shoulder of the person nearest, the last person puts their hand on my shoulder … and I flush the toilet. There goes Gregory off to Lake Michigan.

    That is unless I pre-decease, then everyone will get to have cotton candy first.

  3. Mrs. Chili says:

    If your faith doesn’t prohibit it (and it doesn’t discomfit you) consider cremation. On her wishes, I had my mother cremated. I registered her with our state’s Cremation Society (I’m pretty sure there’s one in every state), and all together, from beginning to end, it cost about $3,000. They took care of everything, including transport of the body from the hospital to the cremation facility; it was entirely and professionally handled. We buried Mom’s ashes (because she had a plot next to her first husband), but she didn’t really care what happened to the ashes; we could have kept them or scattered them or turned them into the garden for all it mattered to her.

  4. I was under the impression you could pre-pay for a funeral, but maybe just for the casket? This is a frequent topic of discussion in a group I belong to. It’s a subgroup of our local chapter of The Transition Network (look it up, it’s great!) and we meet every month or so to discuss end of life issues. Our group is called DDD–Death, Dying and Dessert.

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