It’s cheaper to keep breathing…

July 10, 2010

In case you’re unaware, the average American doesn’t carry a large enough balance in their savings account to bankroll their own funeral.  A recent discussion with a dear friend (DH) who just lost her father helped me reach the aforementioned conclusion.  Lucky for my friend her father was a forward thinker and purchased a “soup to nuts” burial package back in the 60’s for about a thousand dollars.   Where does one go to shop for such a thing?  Maybe in the 60’s they were sold door to door or were conveniently located near the grocery store cash register in between the smut rags, toe nail clippers and disposable “Bic” lighters?  Regardless of where or how he found it you’ve got to admire the guy’s initiative- he saved his family a ton of money, time and effort.  What a considerate gift- you’ve got to respect a dude that gets more done in death than most people will accomplish in the average work week.  The idea of a burial package intrigued me so I queried my friend further as to what all was included.

The thousand dollar investment included the plot (that’s the hole you get thrown into), coffin, embalming, fees for the service (apparently priest cost $), limousine, etcetera- this thing was “no-kidding” comprehensive.  The best part (according to our DF) was that her family didn’t have to worry about a thing- they just sat back, celebrated her Dad’s life and let the professionals worry about the details.

Good shit right? 

Probably the best thousand dollars the guy ever spent.  But these days it isn’t a thousand dollars.  These days a cemetery burial will cost you more like $10,000; and that dosen’t include all of the extras that our friend’s dad got- I’m pretty sure the limousine is more like a “same day return” U-Haul box trailer; so make sure the bereaved has a trailer hitch. 

My opinion is simply this- “bullshit”.  It’s likely I won’t be worth $10k alive so why the hell would I spend that much to primp and bury the “meat package” that I was lugging around with me for so many years?  Not trying to sound trite, but by the time I get “called home” I don’t plan on having a lot left to bring with me.  I plan on getting every penny out of this carcass and whatever is left can be incinerated and spread to the winds.  That’s right folks I’m signing up for the whole cremation thing- after all how much could it possibly cost to slide my butt in and fire up the kiln? After some limited research turns out to be about a $1,000.00.


Cremation should be the economical send off- what’s the $1,000 fee for?  It’s not like I’m asking for a gigantic granite head stone or a titanium coffin- all that I’ll need is a couple gallons of propellent and a dustpan to scoop up the dust.  If it’s gonna save a few dollars tell the “pyro-technician” that normally presses the “burn to a crisp button” to take the day off and I’ll have that unbalanced third cousin on my father’s side flip the switch- the guy absolutely loves fire and this would be a once in a life time thrill for him.  If it’s more cost effective, pair me up with a skinny dude and divide up the remains proportionately.  And by the way, don’t try to sell my wife a decorative urn- pa-lease, all I need is a Tupperware container with a lid.  Forget it, none of the current Tupperware in our inventory has a matching lid so just put my ashes in a gallon size freezer bag and call it good- obviously I’m not real picky.

I hate to sound cheap- but if I’m lucky enough to have $10k left at the end of this fantastic run I would rather divide that sum up among my surviving relatives so they can finance that much needed brake job on the family Prius or pay their current utility bill- that is some “good lovin” from the grave right there. 

I shared my all of these thoughts with my friend (who I love dearly I might add) and she didn’t think I was an insensitive ass at all, in fact we laughed- and it was a good laugh.

I think we came away with a few really solid “take aways”.

1. Her father was a smart and loving man who took care of his family even after he was gone.

2. Your body is a thing- not really who YOU are but simply a vessel used to house your spirit.


3.  Shane is such a tight-wad you couldn’t pound a needle up his ass with a jackhammer.

I think all three are pretty legit 🙂

We love you Donna- s & c

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