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How cheap is cheap cremation? How do they do it so cheap? How is cheap cremation different from the cremation services provided by your local funeral home?
The least expensive form of cremation is direct cremation. Direct cremation means that the body is picked up from the place of death and taken directly to the cremation facility. Cremated remains are returned to the family in a simple container.
Direct cremation takes care of the body but does nothing for the family left behind.
All funeral homes offer the option of a direct cremation. So, what is missing? Service. There is no help with a memorial service, gathering or celebration of the life. Most families need more assistance. They need and want to come together and remember. However, in most circumstances, families need help putting together a memorial service after losing a beloved family member. Family members are stunned after a sudden loss and exhausted when death follows a long illness. They appreciate help.
Cremation societies may advertise very low-cost cremations. Very low cost usually means low staff levels, unskilled labor, people who have not been trained to serve families and no service. When you sign up ask who will pick up the deceased. Ask if more than one body is transported to the cremation facility at a time. Ask how you can be sure the cremated remains you will pick up will be those of your family member. Compare the cost of the cremation society cremation to the direct cremation cost at your funeral home.
Finally, consider your family situation. Do all your family members live in town? Do you have children away at college? Won’t that child want to have a final good-bye with her grandmother before nana is cremated? The funeral home usually can make that good-bye happen.
Your local funeral home offers more options and more service than a cremation society. Saving money may be important but cheap just might not be what your family needs.
Prescription medication is expensive. Just that fact can be an understandable motivation for some risky business. When my father died, my mother was asking everyone, “Aren’t you on blood pressure medicine? You take this heart pill don’t you? What do you take for depression?” Her plan, no waste. My mom will also save four string beans when dinner is over. The beans I can live with, the pills I think we are treading on thin ice. It’s just best to follow the FDA recommendations.
In order to keep drugs from falling into the wrong hands (little people, pets, and addicts) the FDA recommends that you dispose of all medication as soon as possible. They suggest three options.
Take Back Programs:
These are periodic events scheduled in your community for a specified date and time. In addition, some communities have permanent collection sites, you can find the location of permanent collection sites at the FDA website.
Disposal in Household Trash:
Many medications can be disposed of in the household trash following this process.
Flushing down the toilet:
FDA recommends that a short list of drugs be immediately flushed. These drugs are dangerously addictive for children and others who have not been prescribed the medication. A complete list of these drugs is posted on the FDA website.
First, relax. Talking about your funeral plans might make you a little uncomfortable at first but making a plan doesn’t mean you will be using it anytime soon. Your funeral director or advance planner will guide you through the process. Most people get very comfortable in just a few minutes.
Do consider bringing someone with you. Be aware that children are often reluctant to come. They don’t want to think about losing you. Insist they come anyway. They will thank you later.
Do allow enough time. Typically, you will need an hour or two to get the most from your preplanning appointment.
Make a list of your questions. You may be undecided about some things. That’s fine. This meeting is a good place to get the information you will need. Just ask. Why should I have a gathering? Is it important for my family to see my body? If I am cremated what are my options for a service? What are the benefits of paying advance? If I pay in advance can I make payments? Any question you have, is a good question.
Probably the most important thing you can do to prepare for your meeting is simply to think about your family and your friends. Who are your people? Brothers, sisters, children, grandchildren, the friends you have known forever and the friends you see every day. Picture them. Think about them. What will they remember about you? What kind of a service will bring them comfort? Will they want to share stories? Will music be important? Will a spiritual component be a valuable part of your service?
Become aware that not everyone in your circle may find comfort in the same way. Tell your planner about the needs of your family and friends. Let the funeral professional help you find the right fit for your people. The funeral is for the survivors, so think about them.
People smile, they even laugh at these meetings. What you are about to do is a final gift for those you love.