Thursday, September 27, 2007

Pre-need, and not because of my "condition"

My friend Jim died on Friday afternoon. He was cremated, and tomorrow is the Memorial service that we unfortunately can’t attend. I can’t help but believe it was a blessing. He was miserable, and it was killing is family. There are those times when death is a true blessing - although it can be one in disguise.

He will be missed terribly. He was a really great man. That’s just not my opinion, he was an educator who was dearly loved. He already has two scholarships established in his name. I think that is just the tip of the iceberg.

The timing of his death is unusual though. G and I sat right here on Saturday morning and arranged our own prearranged cremations. Some will think this is morbid, but I have been through my mother’s death with no pre-planning, and then my dad’s with supposed pre-planning. Both were sheer hell.

With my mother, the mortuary played heavily on emotion, and the could. We were sold a mausoleum space (actually two - one for Dad), a very upgraded coffin, and a peignoir set for her to be entombed in. She was too good for regular clothes. Didn’t we want the best for our loved one? I look back and I am so appalled. But our emotions were so raw they could have sold anything. But they were so solicitous.

With my dad, he knew how emotion ruled at the time of my mother’s death, so he set his and V’s funeral. Bless his heart. He didn’t know all of the things that remained to be done. The process was terrible. I didn’t have to chose the coffin, I had his suit ready, and he chose how many escorts and so on. Too bad it didn’t work that way. The obituary didn’t make the paper before the funeral, so no on knew. He was living here in Swampland instead of San Antonio. The mortuary also didn’t call the cemetery in time, so they were not able to open the crypt so he could be put in after the "ceremony."

So - we had just the immediate family there at the service because no one knew about his death. We didn’t need the escorts for the procession to the cemetery because there would be no opening that day. To make the story short, even though it was all decided, "pre-need," I still had to pay over $700 above what was already paid for. I wrote the manager of the mortuary to tell him how horrible the funeral was. I got my money back. As I should have.

So G and I went with a group I had heard about. It is pre-need. Everything is paid for in full. We will be cremated. We have the urns, and everything is decided. The survivors can plan a Memorial service. No fuss, no muss, and best of all no morticians!

Jim, I imagine your ashes will be scattered about 1 mile from where mine will. Rest in peace. I’ll join you in enriching the land someday.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am sorry you lost your friend.