Friday, August 2, 2013

when you're gone you're gone

Related to my post from yesterday, my friend and I were also discussing our funeral plans. Pretty morbid, huh?  She said her desire is to donate her body for scientific research, after which time they have done that research, the organization would handle her cremation. In fact they handle everything - the cremation, coming to pick up the body, having the death certificate issued, etc., all at no charge to the donor. That makes sense considering they get to use your body for research.

Her husband is opposed to that idea. He said, how do you know they don't abuse or violate you, or perform other misdeeds?  She said who cares, that isn't her in that body anymore - she'll be in heaven and that's just her former shell so what does it matter?  I agree.  When it's my time I don't want any muss or fuss, just cremate me, although the option of donating my body sounds plausible.

I can understand why loved ones wouldn't want to see that happen, though. They would like to have a fitting, respectful service - especially in line with Asian culture. But the thing is, instead of going to all that trouble, including the expense of a funeral which can easily run $15,000-$20,000 and more, why not celebrate the person when they are alive?  And use that money for something enjoyable while alive, too, instead of when it's too late?

She said when she had to deal with her first funeral, she didn't know what to do but everyone told her it had to be first class all around. Only the best. So she spent a lot of money. The next time around, she was wiser from that experience and bought the casket from Costco, where it cost about a third of what the mortuary would have charged. She didn't tell anyone, though, because she didn't want to hear people exclaim, "What??? You bought a discount casket from Costco???"  - Even though it was the same thing the mortuary offered.

Mortuaries make their profits off the guilt over the deceased, as well as good intentions expressed at a vulnerable time. They have to make money, too, so I am not criticizing them.  But the time to really "spend" on a loved one is when they are alive, not when they have departed.

Well, please forgive the morbidity of this post as it has strayed from the usual subject matter and tone of this blog but hey, we're all getting older. The stuff I think and talk about now is not the same as a few years ago. I didn't even like thinking about it before, wanting to pretend it wasn't there, but it is what it is.  It's all in the good Lord's hands as far as I'm concerned.

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