How the Cookie Crumbles

An irreverant view of life after SIXTY-FIVE

Dust to Dust – Part 3

98 Comments


https://letscutthecrap.wordpress.com/2014/01/17/dust-to-dust/ https://letscutthecrap.wordpress.com/2014/01/24/dust-to-dust-part-2/

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Part 3

I decided I’m worth it and it’s more for my family’s benefit than for mine. I spent more than originally planned because I hadn’t taken into account certain aspects of my send-off. These are the Services and Supplies Section in Canadian dollars:

Table AB

Additional Services requested and/or Required:

Table C

Only my family will see me prior to cremation. A memorial service will be held instead. Whatever happens I figure I won’t look that great so why take the chance at a bad review? You must always keep them guessing especially if you haven’t seen your friends in a while. I have set aside money for a reception and a balance remain, it will be returned to my family.

As well, should you be a traveler, consider a Worldwide Travel Assistance Plan. I purchased mine for a one-time fee of $525.00 no matter how many trips I take. It can be expensive if a loved one is stuck with this additional cost. In my case, this covers the details of handling all the necessary documents, including consular services if outside Canada. One toll-free call can be made by family or funeral director to begin the process of bringing you home in the event of death. That’s all of it now.

Hope this is helpful when you consider your own prearrangement.

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Author: Let's CUT the Crap!

I'm getting a little LONG in the tooth and have things to say about---ouch---AGEing. I believe it's certainly a state of mind but sometimes it's nice to hear that you're NORMAL. I enjoy reading by the truckload. I'm a grandma but I don't feel OLD although I'm not so young anymore. My plan is to stick it out as long as I can on this lovely planet and only will leave it kicking and screaming!

98 thoughts on “Dust to Dust – Part 3

  1. You are one organized lady and living up to your blog name my friend. I hope now that the arrangements are made it is time for living? Sending positive energy to you.

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  2. I must try and get a breakdown of my parents costs. I am gob smacked at catering expenses, the advertisement … Goodness so expensive? You are doing well and on track lovey, now what you have to concentrate on is living & enjoying yourself? 🙂 x

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    • The advertisement is for two appearances ($250 each). My Mom’s cost over $700.00!
      Not knowing how many people to expect is the problem. Then you decided whether it’s a hot meal or sandwiches. Money not used will be returned to my daughter.

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  3. Had to pay $100 extra for night time body pick up
    Had to pay storage fee because they have to have state permission to cremate first so they can run up bill a week or less.

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  4. This is for cremation? I always thought that was a cheap way to go. Isn’t there some way you can just say au revoir (sp?) without it costing a small fortune?

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  5. This still seems crazy expensive! I’m with library lady.

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  6. $425 for a stationery package? Wow.

    Thank you for sharing this. Although macabre, it’s practical information. I agree, the Worldwide Travel Assistance Plan makes good sense. I had a distant family member who died while at a conference overseas. His family had a rather difficult time getting his body back. No grieving loved ones should ever have to face that added burden.

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    • I’ve heard about a couple of travelers stuck far away from home and having to deal with this.

      The stationery will include the guestbook, religious cards and/or commemorative book marks etc. You never know how many you’ll need. Another thing I CUT out $500 for the DVD (picture of my life) they make which runs throughout the memorial and your family gets to keep. 🙂

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  7. It’s always good to be prepared for the inevitable. Most people aren’t prepared and it leave the family to deal with some really tough issues during a time that is difficult enough already.

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  8. It is amazing what this is costing, but doesn’t surprise me. You are doing a kind and generous thing to take care of this in advance for your family.

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  9. You did good! This is a brave and loving thing you did for your family. You are to be commended for showing consideration, love, and a final way for your family to mourn without added pain.

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    • Thank YOU, Kanzen. I have never seen $$ and services involved in a cremation of anything about pre-preparation. It seemed fitting to share such a hidden secret. If it’s not in the open (because people don’t want to talk about it), then it’s a secret. Now, everyone has s.o.m.e. idea. 🙂

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  10. Dear Tess, thank you for these brave articles.
    My parents arranged their funerals many years ago. I knew the location of the cemetery but had never gone over the details with them. When my father died 4 years ago, I took the papers to the funeral home, planning for respite from all the decisions I’d been forced to make and all the stress of the past 3 weeks. But I knew the funeral was one aspect of his death I wouldn’t have to worry about.
    How shocked I was to discover that the only thing my parents had chosen and paid for was the grave site. I had to select everything else, all the items you’ve outlined above. My mom, suffering from Alzheimer’s and grief, couldn’t help. Others in the family who should have helped, declined. (Decline is a nice word for abandoned their responsibility.)
    Shortly after burying my father, I made similar choices for my mom and paid all her expenses. In her sorrow and confusion, she stood at my father’s grave about a year later and asked where she would be buried. It was one of the last articulate questions she has asked.
    I was able to tell my mom that she would rest by his side as she had lived for 63 years. That small comment assured her, and at that one moment, she felt some peace.
    You are giving your loved ones a great gift. I know they will realize it one day. As difficult as all this was for you to face, it is so much worse when the person you love has died, and you have to choose for them, through your tears.
    You made wise choices, Tess, the wisest being that you made choices. Paid for them. That is the biggest expense of a funeral: how much it costs the souls of those who love us.
    Thank you for putting this out there for everyone to read. Blessings on you. And may you live a long time – we love having you around.
    Shari *: )

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    • Dear, dear, Shari: Thank you. I shied away from making these preparations for the past 3+ years since my Mom died. I’m planning a long trip soon and that gave me impetus to do the dead. It felt like I was borrowing trouble when I began. I don’t think about the details though. No thanks. 😀

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  11. Love the itemization – thank you for posting the gory details, Ms. Tess. That really breaks it down. Now I know what categories to try to dicker with them about when I go to take care of such plans. I think I’m in the wrong profession…

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    • Exactly. I’ve never seen what is involved before. My Mom pre-prepared but there were five siblings to pick up where she left off when she was gone. I have only one daughter, so…
      I feel a lot of the services seem to overlap.

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  12. Tess what a wonderful thing you have done for your family. I think it shows a lot of responsibility, and a lot of love. They will be thanking you while they are grieving, and appreciating you and your thoughtfulness. I admire you for doing this.

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  13. Dear Tess,
    Thank you for this article. ❤ I am the practical kind, and don't want to burden my family either, but know I can get under the wire for much less than this. My family bought handmade (not provided) urns for our parents and when they were both gone, bought a double handmade urn to inter them together as my dad had wished. You have shown so much love toward your family by making the plans and paying for them now. I am in the process of planning for myself, and you have been so caring and helpful with this.
    Love,
    Gail

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  14. I am going to insist that my kids choose the cheapest possible option!

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  15. This is a really good thing you’ve done for your family. There’s something kind of chilling about seeing the itemised list though, it’s kind of cold and clinical, as if it’s some home renovations or something! I mean, I’m not sure what the alternative would be to that kind of list, but you know what I mean! Hey, it’s done though now right? You can forget about it and get back to your routine.

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  16. Whoa that’s a lot of money.

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  17. Yowzer! Nothing is cheap these days is it? Every little thing is charged to the max, rip-off ville. You family will thank you greatly though for taking care of this ahead of time (and you have thought of everything!) but now you can put this all behind you and forget about it and live your life, for many, long, happy and healthy years to come 🙂

    Bring it on… 🙂 x

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  18. I’m afraid to ask but–you are healthy, aren’t you? Nothing imminent? Is this just something you Always Planned to Do?

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    • Jacqui, you are a jewel. 🙂
      After my Mom died three+ years ago, I’d been thinking I should do this but kept shoving it to the back burner. In October, I planned a trip to far, far away. The idea came back to the front burner and I turned up the heat. Don’t tell anyone. I’ll tell soon ;-).

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  19. Thanks for showing your list. Even though I live in the US, I think the costs are probably comparable. I won’t need any of the things connected with ‘Ceremony’. I also won’t need the casket, the stationery, the clergyman, newspaper notice, or any catering. I’m going with no frills. 😉

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  20. That’s a longer list to consider than I appreciated. Every aspect covered. This series of posts has been helpful in highlighting the detail that one needs to consider. My mother is starting to talk about a living will and that alone is a little disconcerting. But it is about her and not about me and it has to be her call.

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    • One reason I did this for myself instead of leaving instructions.
      Once I stumbled around this information, I wondered why it’s not a subject that’s spoken about more. Okay, no-one likes the subject but the details, my gosh, I had no clue about anything.
      My Mom did her own pre-preparation and left instructions, which made decision making easier for us siblings.

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  21. So many choices and considerations. And too easy an undertaking to put off, I suppose. Serious food for thought, no matter one’s age.

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  22. I think we were very fortunate with both my mom and dad, we did not opt for any frills and though they passed within 11 months of each other the costs were very low. No frills cremation, under $5000 for the both of them and they had already paid for it years ago, this cost included the urns which were then interred in the plot already paid for and engraved with all but the date of their passing (also already paid for). The memorial service was held at the church they had attended for years and was a gift from the church, food was contributed from all the members.

    My other mother arranged her cremation and having her ashes spread 30 years ago. Now, how she wanted them spread is illegal. But we will work that one out some other way. She paid something like $1,500 at the time.

    My body is being donated to science.

    I think what you have done is wonderful. Even though it was nerve wracking, it is a wonderful gift to your family.

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    • It’s true when you go to a regular church, the end is less financially dependent although my mother left money for the kitchen help at the church.
      Val, I could care less about the frills. This is more for my daughter and family. 🙂

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  23. I’ve always told my kids that when I die I want them to play “Spirit In The Sky” by Norman Greenbomb. If nothing else, I hope they can pull that off. I also have a big savings account for my daughter to use for my expenses. She can go as cheap or as rich as she wants. I’ll be at my own party. Enjoy always, T

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  24. I liked this ..cause that was the option lol..the subject matter does suck but hurrah to you for facing the inevitable head on to make arrangememts and know your family won’t have to fret over particulars or money. My parents have done the same, although to tell you the honesf truth as their kid, id rather deal with the arrangements then the garage and closets..I can’t afford right now to prepay for my demise but I am lightrning my load as far as material possessions..course then again..hooefully I have plenty of time to have a mansion..and shoes amd clothes galore someday…;-). I love what you said about not letting anyone see you …keep em guessing. Yes indeed 🙂

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  25. Geez . . . dying is an expensive proposition, isn’t it? How nice of you to do this for your family.

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  26. $800 for “coordinating rites and ceremonies? What is that?

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  27. Just attended the burial of a friend two weeks ago who was cremated and was stunned at the cost of the service. It seems to be highway robbery, but there is nothing we can do about it, unfortunately.

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  28. It’s all so very amazing, this last trip in life we take. You’ve done a bang-up job of thinking of everything.

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  29. Thank you for bringing this rather depressing subject to our attention. It’s quite sad that every little service has a price, just seems a bit tawdry to be putting a price on every last little thing that you do for someone. I really need to investigate this idea of pre-arranging. Here is SA you can buy a funeral policy but from what I have heard it never pays out enough to cover the costs.

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  30. Well I am glad you have this all looked after now Tess. Now you can stop thinking about it and resume life as usual! Great info though and of course you included catering to make sure everyone would be fed, still hosting the party from the other side. Class! 🙂

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  31. It must be weird seeing the itemized bill when you made the arrangements. I admire your courage and initiative. It’s amazing how it adds up so quickly.

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  32. Now that you got all of this taken care of, be sure to stick around a good long while, OK?

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  33. Couldn’t we all just melt away like the witch in The Wizard of Oz? Oh Tess, you are so brave. While I have it written that it should be cremation, I haven’t done the planning you have.

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  34. You are a very organised lady and has one of the other bloggers said, please make sure that you stick around for a very long time 🙂

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  35. Have to say – the thought of doing this has not even crossed my mind. I should be getting my organ donor’s card any day now, and I have a funeral policy that covers me for a goodly sum. What worries me the most is what happens to my house and it’s contents when I die? Don’t want the kids to fight about my stuff – I know how it can be when you don’t want to let go of cherished memories. Suppose I’ll have to take that decision away from them.
    Still, much as I sometimes just want it all to end, I don’t think I’m ready to die just yet – still have a whole lot of loving and living to do!!
    PS – C’s sister lives in Toronto somewhere – we might very well go there for a visit – just make sure you have not used the above document before then 😉

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  36. Tess, this post just makes me sad. I advent yet read the others so maybe I am missing something. You are SO caring and SO generous. You looking after your loved ones one sad day in the distant distant distant future, even as an angel makes me think: but they will want to do something for you. I would. They definitely would. You have relieved them of financial worries and my guess is that in return, from your cloud, you will see a botanical garden of the most beautiful flowers. But is too sad to even write that far into the future even though we will all have our own clouds one day! Love to you! 🙂

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  37. Valuable information! Just read your back garden next to the cat comment! You are a crack up!
    Now I don’t feel that bad about clicking LIKE. LOL>

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    • Going through this process (taking care of the business end), was not pleasant at first but I grit my teeth and finished.I had to lighten up. Didn’t want to bore anyone. Thanks for reading and commenting. Nice to see you again.

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Some things in life are complicated. Let's keep it simple.

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