Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Of "Funeral Preperations"????~~~~

I know Darklings,

What a very strange heading!  But its true----but not for someone who just died, but more for getting things taken care of without having the family have the headache.

How this discussion came about was because of my sister,  poor thing.  This morning she was just so miserable, blowing her nose, sniffling, coughing, even with the cold meds.   I got her pretty much settled in Sunday, a large paper bag next to her bed to catch the used tissue, the night stand with a tray to hold the cough medicine and cough drops, a carafe of water and a glass and a large cup so she can gargal.

I managed to get ahold of her clients and get them rescheduled,  I'm so glad my Sister set's her calendar well ahead, espeically for any other events or confrences she wants to attend.

But today it was a dash to the drug store to get more supplies for her cold,  and get more soup and saltines, at least she can drink camomile tea, even peppermint tea is soothing to her. 

She was a bit awake this afternoon before her misery forced her to sleep again, so I had her eat, and I went over the adjusted schedule with her, I did warn her clients that they may get another phone call to re-adjust their schedules again and apologized for the problems.  Fortunately they were very understanding.  No one, but no one wants to catch a cold, nasty miserable thing that it is.

But just as we finished going over her appointment calendar she made an interesting and yet strange remark to me "Sis, have you thought about making funeral arrangements?"   I said to her that she was not going to die and I certainly did not have any plans.

But she went on and what she was saying that at our age as Elder Goths, we should have in advance funds set aside for funeral expenses and a directive of how we would like our funeral to be carried out, what type of coffin, what cemetery, what type of tombstone, what location for the burial plot, what kind of funeral service, who to do the preperations, anything speical to be done, etc., etc., etc.

As she was saying this I thought to myself she is so right, of course no one wants to think upon the ending of one's life, but I am of the belief that although our physical shell ends, that essence or soul energy continues, even if science has a hard time proving it, there have been annedotal stories about spirit survival.  Which is another reason why I like ghost stories.

I said to her that what she suggested was a good idea but it would be best for us to consider these things when one is in a more healthy frame of mind and body and we could plan our funeral arrangements.

Planning a funeral----most people would prefer to plan for a wedding or a birthday party even a baby shower, but planning for a funeral?   Well Darklings that is really not so morbid, but something an Elder Goth should think about.

Alright you say, how am I going to go about this?  Well one way is to pay for Whole Life Insurance, Not term life but Whole Life--there is a difference.   Term life is only for the term of the insurance, you cannot cash it in nor can you borrow on it, most of them only go to age 75 and then end, now some can be renewed but at a higher rate.   Whole Life however goes on until you die, with some companies the monthly rate remains the same, you can borrow against it, you can cash it in and receive back the amount of money you paid into it as premiums,  some companies hardly require a health exam such as Colonial Penn, some do require a physical exam---It does depend upon the company and at what age you are getting the insurance and of course the amount.

On Life insurance policies check with the company on them and any restrictions. 

But with a whole life insurance policy you have to set aside money to go into that to pay for funeral expenses,  but you cannot miss a payment or you forfit.

Now there is another way of doing it as long as you are strong willed enough to not dip into the fund, and that is to set up a savings account and put into it the exact amount of money that you would if you were paying for a premium,  either way Darklings the cost of a funeral traditionally done is at least $7000 on up, not including the cost of the grave and burial costs---that is just for embalming and coffin.  

Yes Darklings just like Weddings, a Funeral can be expensive, but the whole idea is to go the way you want to go, even Elizabeth Taylor use to tease that she'd be late to her own funeral and it was planned that her hearse carrying her coffin was late to her own funeral, who says you can't have fun after death.

I mean with a really great wake you can put the "Fun" into Funerals  (oh I know bad pun)
Now Doyle has his planned a long time ago---take him from the hospital to the cematorium, reduce him to ash and bury him in the back yard,  I said we'll have him on the fireplace mantle in a box or a jar and dust him off every week.  After all I think there are some restrictions now adays about being buried in one's back yard, even if we do have a pet cemetery in the back of mine. Hmmmm maybe I could.  (thinking about it)

It's what we did with Grandpa, he was cremated, even if at the time the Catholic Church wasn't thrilled with the idea, although they have come around to that,  Yes Grandma just could not bring herself to bury him, so she didn't embalm him just had him cremated and put into a nice wooden box with his name and dates of birth and death on it.  He sat on Grandma's fireplace mantle for years, Sis and I dusted him every weekend with an apology, we even apologized if it "tickled" him or made him sneeze, and we polished his box with Lemon Pledge.  It looked just lovely all polished up, espeically when the sun came through the living room windows and shined on it,  on occasion we had to use a metal polish to polish the metal plate on it that had his name.

For Christmas we had one of those little fake trees, with tiny glass colored balls glued to it's branches and we'd put it next to his box, or an Easter Bunny, no matter what Grandpa was included in all the celebrations,  for birthdays we had a little birthday hat to put on the box.  Grandma just looked at what we children would do and simply nodded her head in approval,  Dad would just shake his head and say to Mom "They're your children"  but I think they liked the fact that we accepted Grandpa that way.

One of my Uncles and his pinched mouth wife (he married late in life--never did like the woman) always complained about us children being disrespectful, but Grandma would tell them in no uncertain terms that she approved of it.

Of my two other Uncles, one would just shake his head but Uncle Mannie would smile and say "I think Grandpa is enjoying himself"  and would sneak a tiny shot glass of wine next to Grandpa's box, Sis and I swore that the wine in the glass would slowly disappear as if someone was sipping out of it.  Our Oldest brother thought so as well.

We buriend Grandpa with Grandma when she died and included all the information on the tombstone, together forever we thought and so right, Mom insisted that their names be entwined within two hearts over lapping, they were that much in love,  we did the same with Mom and Dad too when it was their time.

Things in terms of funerals did take a dark turn when our oldest brother died, but that was under horrible and tragic circumstances, with Grandpa well he became ill and he did talk about dieing, and as sad as it was it was expected and we recovered from it.   But my brother's was a long time in recovering for the whole family.

Now my other Grandpa and Grandma they had the traditional Catholic funeral,  with all the pomp and circumstance of the funeral rituals (Pre-Vatican 2) and although sad I loved the ritual in the old style Gothic Church, the rosary, the blessing, the prayers, the incense, well call me old-fashion but that is exactly how I'm going to have mine,  and the coffin I want will be black with silver colored handles and fixtures. I want the Pomp and Circumstance,  I know exactly where I want to be buried, and I want my headstone to be black polished stone, and although expensive I want it to include my picture on it,  I have a picture taken of me when I was younger, and I looked Sexsay!  And have on the tombstone the words "I-Be-Back"  shake them up a bit, none of that "In God's Care" stuff, oh no, I'm coming back in a new body and livin' life to the hilt and doing it all over again.

That's the only way to go.

As a matter of fact Darklings did you know you can buy your own coffin ahead of time at Cost Co??  Who says they don't sell everything---Hmmm coffin, wine and food for the wake....I think I'll plan my funeral.

Later Darklings


  1. Not strange at all, but very intelligent! With both my mom and grandmother having surgeries since mid-January, this topic has definitely been on my mind of late. My mom has made her arrangements and has everything planned and paid for. All I need to do is take the papers from her drawer and make some calls. My grandmother doesn't want to think about or discuss these things, so she really hasn't written much down (although I THINK she has a will), but she just tells my mom what she wants, and my mom has told me, just in case.

    As for me, I've been thinking that I ought to make a will and look into burial arrangements soon. Thanks for the post, it was a needed poke in the posterior! ;-)

  2. Wonderful post. The Husband and I have been discussing this...turning 50 does that sometimes;)

    Having the conversation and then seeing to the arrangements with insurance, etc. really does help those who are still alive get through their grief without arguments over details.

    Again, lovely post.


  3. I think everyone should do this (plan) no matter their age. Saves the family & friends the planning.