Funeral Industry News

Boston Herald Article Disses Funeral Directors…Absurd

November 8, 2010

Boston Herald Article Disses Funeral Directors…Absurd

imageThe writer of the following Boston Herald article total puts a black eye on funeral directors and in my opinion is way out of line. I have never talked to a funeral director who “sells” or tries to “sell” a family anything. Presenting options to a family is not selling. I would love to read your comments on the following article:

Most of us have been there.

Grandma dies, or dear old dad. Everybody?s at the funeral home. Some oily guy with soft hands shows you the solid walnut casket for $4,000 and the gold-trimmed version for $5,500. Then there?s the funeral burial vault (the what?) for another $1,000. ?It protects the body from the, uh, well, uh,? says oily guy in faked solemn tones, ?the, uh, organisms and uh, decomposition.?

?Look at this cheap swindler,? you?re thinking. ?But we can?t scrimp on grandma,? says keep-up-with-the-Joneses sister. Newly orphaned mom, meanwhile, is useless, just wailing away there in her funeral-home-special, hard-backed chair.

And before you know it, you?ve spent $10,000.

I?m here today to say: Snap out of it! End the madness, the over-spending, born of guilty siblings and grandkids trying to prove ?I loved her more!? Remember: you can spend $100,000 to make up for all those times you should?ve called. Too late. Grandma?s still dead.

I?m here today to say thanks to my generation, baby boomers fast approaching 6-feet-under ourselves. At last somebody?s made funerals-on-the-cheap more acceptable. We don?t call them cheap, of course. No, we talk about simpler, more meaningful funerals: the green funeral, the biodegradable eco-funeral, the closer-to-our-ancestors funeral, back when we shoved each other in pine boxes plopped into dirt that we very quickly became one with.

Why not the Wal-Mart or Costco cut-rate casket? (Be sure they guarantee on-time delivery.) Why not the pine box starting at $300? Or even the biodegradable cardboard (it?s sturdy enough) at $80 and up? Why get a funeral limo when your brother-in-law can fit the whole clan inside his new Ford Expedition?

Why not cremate? It?s affordable (less than $1,000) and eco-conscious.

I love the people up at Grace Church in Dover, an alternative Catholic Church where women are first-class citizens and the divorced and remarried take communion without fear. They?re building a memorial garden with roses and fountains where cremated remains will be placed inside individual compartments of a 6-foot wall and marked with plaques. So instead of driving hundreds of miles to visit grandma?s $5,000 casket inside its $1,000 vault at the $2,000 burial plot, plus maintenance, you can pop out of Sunday Mass, with the kids, and grandma?s right there.

With the thousands you save, the whole family can take a five-star, In Memory of Grandma Cruise, and toast her every single night. She?d be thrilled.