Death is Expensive

Thursday, April 17, 2008
Since my husband has a small family on his mother's side, we all went to arrange his grandmother's funeral together. And let me tell you, none of it was cheap. After selecting a mid-range casket and a plain vault, the total rang up to nearly ten grand... and that was a simple no-bells-or-whistles funeral. We even opted out of getting the family car to ride in. There were no complimentary benefits at all. Sorry, no mints on these pillows. Digging the grave cost as well as getting the death date engraved on the tombstone (Thank God Grandma already had the actual tombstone and her name as well a plot ready). We even had to pay for a copy of the death certificate. The funeral home was very helpful, sure. They took care of a lot of necessities, like making sure the graveyard owners were contacted and the obituary got in the paper. But they certainly got compensated for it. A neighbor of ours is still paying for her husband's funeral from three years ago.

Yeah, I'm thinking life insuranse is a real good idea right about now. But as I walked around that room full of caskets for sale with price tags sitting on them, I couldn't help but wonder how much worse it'd be to go through this for someone who wasn't ninety-one years old or someone whose death you totally weren't prepared for. I've written stories about family members of my main characters dying and I realized they had to experience this ordeal too. Dealing with the loss of a loved one is hard enough but adding a financial strain on top of it is even worse. I don't think I'll ever be able to write about a character’s loved one dying without remembering what a person has to go through to bury them.

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