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Words of wisdom

Important Things I Have Learned About Funerals That I Want To Share With Everyone

  1. Take more pictures. When they're gone, you need something to remember them by, and the more you have the better.
  2. Start saving money now. Funerals cost more than you think they will - a lot more. Pre-pay if you can afford it. It will be worth it.
  3. Send money to the family. (Closely related to #2.) Flowers are nice, but a huge waste of money. If they list a charity, give the family money and let them decide what to do with it.
  4. Call on the family after the funeral. Offers of food and company are welcome, but it gets to be too much all at once. Give them some room to breathe, let them take some time, and check in on them in a month, two months, even six months. They will need help and company then just as much as they need it now.

The services were nice, but a lot more difficult than I thought they would be. Mom is going to need a lot of time. It hasn't even really hit me yet. Much to do, much to do...


( 19 comments — Comment )
Dec. 18th, 2003 10:37 pm (UTC)
It's good to have you back my friend! Did you get our card? I never got an email telling me it was delivered.

Ric and I are here for you.

Dec. 31st, 2003 02:05 pm (UTC)
I don't think I did, but then I missed a lot while I was gone. Thank you for the thought, anyway.
Dec. 18th, 2003 10:55 pm (UTC)
Having lost 2 Fathers I understand what you went through and are going through. It seems like the phone never stops ringing after they die. And while it was nice to know that people cared and wanted to help. it was overwhelming and got in the way of getting the important things done. And you honestly feel bad towards the people calling when you have to cut them short because you know they care but still.....

And you are right We never had enough Pictures of Doug and only a few more of my Biological dad.... Which sucked... But i also have the benifit of having small things i inheirited that i can carry with me that mean more than pictures. Like Dougs Leatherman Multitool that he broke the pliers on doing heavy chainmaille. and from my Dad i have small knives (hew was a pretty avid collector) and these bring more memories to me than pictures do.

Also something Someday i am going to do is sit down and collect a book for Doug stories together from everyone i can find. He had many many great stories (and i am happy to have lived a few of them). So Something like a memory book fo your dad could eb somehting you could put together with the help of family and friends (stories pictures and things) and then maybe next Christmas send it out. Just a thought but it is a nice way to remember.

As far as funeral Costs. Anyoen reading this know that he is probably underestimating the cost for when we get older. Funerals are EXPENSIVE ! the very simple service we had for my dad was almost 6 thousand and that was a short service at that.

And Yes the family will need support for a long time after the death... Especially around the holidays Anniversaries and Birthdays. Being that My father Looked like Santa Claus (and was Santa at our Mall and was even in commercials) this season is hard especially for my mom. I think the thing that sucked most was the flurry of people around for a few weeks and then they just all stopped comming around or calling which left my mom more alone.

I trully feel for your loss Joshua I really really do
I have been praying for you and your family and i will continue too through especially this time of year....

All my best and love to you and yours
Dec. 31st, 2003 02:12 pm (UTC)
You pegged it - the phone never stops ringing, plus you have to make all those phone calls, people want to overwhelm you with kindness when you're already inundated with food and visitors, and on and on. It was quite overwhelming at times. I told some people to give my mom a call in a month, or on his birthday, or just some time AFTER the funeral - I hope people remember to.

My family always teases my sister for being little Suzi Homemaker, but she takes pictures constantly and she scrapbooks, so when the time came she put together three kick-ass collages - one of my mom and dad, one of Dad with all the kids and grandkids, and one of Dad growing up, including friends of the family and his hobbies, plus we put up all the framed pictures we had all over the place. Everyone was gushing about how great they were, and how much they were appreciated. When Mom says it's ok we're going to take them apart and scrapbook all of them. I also took home the Dopey statue the Disney Store had bought for him, because it was never an official addition to his collection, but I'll probably get a couple more to remember him by, plus Mom said I could have whatever I wanted of his.

All told his funeral cost $9K. Some of the life insurance will cover that, but FUCK that's a lot of money.

Glad to hear someone else has gone through the same thing. It's something you never think about until you have to, and it's quite an experience.
Dec. 19th, 2003 05:19 am (UTC)
Again, I'm so sorry for your loss, Esprix.

I'm sure it's all just overwhelming right now. Hang in there.

Keeping you and your family in my thoughts and prayers.
(Deleted comment)
Dec. 31st, 2003 02:15 pm (UTC)
I wasn't even trying to "be strong," it just worked out that I was being the responsible one home with Mom. Sure I had my moments (my sister said, "It's ok to cry," and I'm like, "Like you need to tell your gay brother that?" :D ), but I just plodded through and got things done and was there for her (and of course my sisters helped out where they could, plus a good friend of mine and a good friend of my parents' both helped out a lot, too). I am fully aware that I have not truly started the process, but it's not like I'm consciously trying to prevent myself from doing so - it just hasn't happened yet, and when it does, I am happy to ride it out. A good friend of mine told me it wasn't until three years after his own father's death when he was at a friend's father's funeral that it finally hit him and he dealt with it. I just figure that if I'm there for my family now, they'll be there for me when it's my turn. :D

Thanks for sharing your experience.
Dec. 19th, 2003 06:43 am (UTC)
Oh man, Esprix. . .somehow I missed the entry telling us about your dad's passing.

I'm sorry to hear of this. If there's anything I can do for you or your family (I'm not that far from Philadelphia, remember) don't hesitate to give me a shout.

My condolences to you and your family.
Dec. 31st, 2003 02:05 pm (UTC)
Thank you for the offer. I'm glad my sisters are close to my mother to keep tabs on her while I'm livin' large on the left coast.
(Deleted comment)
Dec. 31st, 2003 02:16 pm (UTC)
And I am SO GLAD to be back, too. Thanks.
Dec. 19th, 2003 09:00 am (UTC)
I'm sorry to hear about your dad. I'm glad that you got the chance to talk with him before he passed and got the chance to say goodbye.

Dec. 31st, 2003 02:04 pm (UTC)
Thanks, Nathan. Much appreciated.
(Deleted comment)
Dec. 31st, 2003 02:18 pm (UTC)
Can you feel the love? :D

Funny story - my father's folks bought four plots when his dad died, for Grandpop, Grandmom, my dad and my mother. When we got to the cemetery to make the arrangements they said, "Remember in 1957 when Mr. Lutton died and there was a little tree there? It's a really big tree now." Turns out they couldn't open up plot #4 (which would have been Mom's), so they buried dad "double deep," meaning 8 feet, and then they'll put Mom in on top of Dad.

My sister, of course, said, "I dunno, Mom - did you like it on top?" My mother, without missing a beat, said, "Yeah, but only if they bury me face down."

I love my family. :D
Dec. 19th, 2003 02:46 pm (UTC)
My parents bought their crypts about 20 years ago, at 1984 prices. This was A Very Good Thing, as it let my mom sock away most of my dad's life insurance, which helped her through the last couple of years with the loss of his income.

I almost made the mistake of putting both their names on when my dad died in 2001, and just leaving dates off for her. But then her sisters were talking about how my grandmother just kind of fell apart in the couple of years after my grandfather died, and that they thought seeing her own name on the stone every time she visited helped to set her up for that.

Prepaid burial arrangements are the way to go.
Dec. 31st, 2003 02:21 pm (UTC)
The florist who handled us said she was a single woman with no kids, so she's already paid hers up. It's a good deal, man.

No markers for my folks or Dad's folks at this point - they could never afford one for his folks (even though at one time my father was actually selling markers from that very cemetery years and years ago), so they never bothered, and Mom isn't willing (or at least ready yet) to look at ones for them. Besides, our family doesn't visit graves, so unless me and/or my sisters want to, I doubt Mom ever will get a marker. The cemetery they're in requires the flat brass ones, so it wouldn't be that huge of an expense compared to an upright marble one.

Of course, if I had my way, I'd have had Dad cremated, gone to Disney World, gotten in the last row of "it's a small world" and tipped the urn over so he could troll through the waters forever. :D As it is, we asked the funeral home to snip off two locks of his hair so we could leave some at Disney World and I could finally get (at least a part of) him to Disneyland.
Dec. 31st, 2003 02:28 pm (UTC)
I like that!

Of course, we'd have had to take my dad to the world's biggest flea market and tip him out there...
Dec. 19th, 2003 05:35 pm (UTC)
It's a bit belated, but my sympathies on your loss, Esprix. .
Dec. 31st, 2003 02:04 pm (UTC)
Thank you very much.
Dec. 19th, 2003 11:13 pm (UTC)
Good to have you back, chief. Hope everything calms down for you. Again, my sympathy to you and yours.
( 19 comments — Comment )

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