Thursday, 8 May 2008

Taking Care Of Business



Talking to Angelique on the phone Monday morning and I tell her where I was earlier.  Nathan walks by and says “Mom next time it is a beautiful day, why don’t you go for a walk in the park instead of sitting all morning in a funeral home.”  Angelique on the phone hears and says “No shit.”  We all burst out laughing.

Anyway, Monday morning I spent at Desjardins Funeral Home.  I am preparing funeral arrangements so that it will be less work for my family.

This is my second time going as I went in May last year.  I plan to make this an annual event, just too fine tune and also to get use to the place.  Last year when I went I felt a little chocked.  This year it felt much more like business and really just something that needs to be done.

There are already different things I found out this year than I knew last year.  For example I found out from my friend Flo that I can get a cremation box (cardboard) for $15 whereas last year they told me the cheapest one was $740 (pressboard).

I will share with you what I learned.

Flashback May, 2007

I get Jacquie to drop me off at Desjardins because I have an appointment with the funeral director for 9 a.m.  She does not want me to go alone, but that is the only way I am going.

When I first entered it was still dark and there was no one around.  I peek in doorways and all of a sudden a lady comes out who has to bend in the doorway because she is about 7 feet tall.  Scared the shit out of me.  She is the funeral director and her name is Lynette.

We start the meeting and talked about why I am there.  I felt a little teary when I said I was there for myself, but I reminded myself that I was just taking care of business and got my self together.  I had also met with the priest previously, so I knew what I wanted done.

She takes me downstairs and we enter the casket room.  For some reason I still thought the caskets would be a little further into the room but they are jam-packed in the room, right at the entrance.  It gave me the creeps because I always hated that quilted lining in a casket.

I see the cremation caskets and I also look at the urns.  At the time I thought I might want a niche in the wall so she said that you can’t have a wooden urn because they dissolve and the cemetery doesn’t allow that.  But now I know I don’t want to be in a wall, so I am looking at a bio-degradable urn or a wooden one so that it can rot and I will be ashes to ashes, dust to dust.

I am there for about three hours.

Flash Forward May 5, 2008

Meet with Lynette for 9 a.m.  More relaxed this time around and we go through the papers and I ask my questions.  I even got a beautiful pen out of the deal which apparently is a prize for the family when they are grieving.

Costs of a funeral:

Arrangements: $840 now is $940

Transfer of body from hospital: $215 now is $265

Staff (four people): $495

Preparation for identification: $220

Basic facility: $295 now is $195 (actually went down)

Cremation fee: $460 now is $485

Lead car (for priest, flowers, urn, etc): $125

Limousine for family: $225

Casket for cremation: $760 pressed board now is $15 for cardboard

Urn: $760 for pewter now is $460 for wood (not sure on amount of biodegradable box)

Guest book, 50 thank you cards, and crucifix: $195

*Memorial cards: $1.75 per card ($425)

*Luncheon sandwiches: $10 per person ($3,000) heard other places charge $5 per person

*Luncheon tea and coffee: $1.50 per person now $1.75 per person ($425)

Two hostesses: $250

*Based on 300 people.

Burying someone is an expensive endeavour.  The funeral based on around 300 people attending would be about $7,720.  Not including taxes, church costs, priest, death certificates, other papers needed, or cemetery costs.

Looks like I should have worked harder in the salt mines and earned more money.

The cemetery is a whole other matter too.  I went to the ones in my area last year and I am going to revisit in a few weeks.

Some things I know for sure at this point:

Do not want to die at home.
Rosary said in hospital room after I die or while I am dying.
Cremation with $15 cardboard box (do not upgrade this).
No public viewing.
Funeral at Holy Family Church (full mass with incense and holy water).

Lots and lots to do in preparation for a funeral that I hope I won’t be attending for years and years and years and years.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Renee you are such an incredable sister, my heart breaks at just the very thought of one day losing you,I love you so much, I am at a loss for words I pray God will not let you use this for a LONG LONG TIME

Deanna said...

Renee,

All I can say is that in the spirit of some of your previous blogs..."B" is for bravery.

Deanna

Mickey said...

What a wonderful mother you are for your children you always have such an incredible sense of humor. I pray that you are here for a long long time yet as losing you will be unbearable for all the people who love you. I love you so much and my heart breaks when I think of you not being here with us. Deanna is so right B is for Bravery. You are absolutly amazing.

jacquie said...

john lennon ...imagine..

i can't imagine life without you

i won't imagine life without you while you are still with me

L is for love
love is an action word
you don't have to do this alone

Deborah said...

Oh love, this makes me sad, amazed, impressed, and a million other feelings all at once. You are a double B ... Beyond Brave.

The cost is astounding. You should put a "donate" button on your blog. Gosh I hope you think that was funny. I adore you. Love, Deb