100 Reasons To Not Kill Yourself: #89.

I recognize that there are those among you who will not be swayed by emotional appeals, humor, or even nostalgia.

But what about sound economic reasoning?

Do you have any idea just how much a funeral with all the trimmings costs these days? Or for that matter, what a pauper’s funeral costs in 2019?

#89: The High Cost Of Dying.

When my father-in-law passed away a few years back we were devastated but the actual mourning process had to wait; there was no time to cry when you have to plan a funeral. Of course, my father-in-law didn’t want us to make a “big deal” about his passing. He knew what we knew: Most people can’t afford to die, even if they want to.

Granted, it’s not the suicide victim that has to worry about the economic hardship paying for a funeral can cause, but their loved ones certainly do.

 

Start selling those kidneys folks…

Here’s a brief look at some of the charges modern Canadian funeral homes place in front of mourners.

  •  Transportation from the hospital to the funeral facility, and in necessary, back and forth from the crematorium.
  •  A cremation casket. (Even though it’s literally going to go up in smoke.)
  •  Death certificates and registration of death with various agencies. (Though it should be noted that you’ll be on the hook to let most government agencies know of your loved one’s passing, your funeral director will take care of a few for you.)
  •  Preparation of the corpse. (No, they won’t let you do her make-up or dress Grandma in her Sunday best if you want to save a few schillings.)
  •  Media notices. Fun Fact: Sky writing is cheaper than a modern newspaper obituary.)
  •  Those little (not cheap) cards everyone takes at the service – and then promptly tosses aside when they get home. (Personally, I think something user-friendly like a ruler or tape measure would be a more effective way to keep your loved one’s memory alive. You won’t forget Grandpa when he helps you measure out a new deck.)

Then there are taxes (like Death, you can’t escape ’em) and the question of whether or not you want to spend more cash on a post-internment reception. Yes, it gives people a chance to mourn together, but it mostly just gives people a chance to fill their gobs and get drunk together. As opposed to an expensive send-off as my father-in-law was, he would’ve really flipped his spectral lid if we had a reception afterwards.

The cold, hard truth is, we had a funeral for ourselves to pay our final respects for a man we all loved dearly. We’re just damn lucky we could afford to pay for it; at the end of the day we were looking at a $15,000 bill, complete with “the same coffin the Kennedys use!” according to our funeral director’s spouse. Granted, it even had a little drawer for treasure effects like an autographed copy of a cast photo of The Sopranos.

Hey, to each their own, right?

My mother, on the other hand, didn’t want a funeral or service of any kind, just a simple cremation. And in her case, we complied.

But it still cost over four grand for two urns and the whole crispy process.

And on that note, think long and hard about the people and – the bill – you’ll be leaving behind if you choose the date on which you leave this plane of existence. Sure, there are those who don’t blink when it comes to funeral expenses; like the guy who pulled up to our local facility, his deceased mother in the backseat of his caddy and said to the staff, “Mom’s in the back. Give her a simple burial and charge my card… I have to get back to Toronto to keep closing deals!” But most people aren’t this guy.

Take a nanosecond and consider simple economics and their effect on those you’re leaving behind. Death ain’t cheap, baby.

See you in the lobby and your bank’s loan department, kids…

About The Hook

Husband. Father. Bellman. Author of The Bellman Chronicles. Reader of comic books and observer and chronicler of the human condition. And to my wife's eternal dismay, a mere mortal and non-vampire. I'm often told I look like your uncle, cousin, etc. If I wore a hat, I'd hang it on a hat rack in my home in Niagara Falls, Canada. You can call me The Hook, everyone else does.
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20 Responses to 100 Reasons To Not Kill Yourself: #89.

  1. Theresa says:

    Well the costs aren’t any different here in the US. Both my parents died 5 years apart and while adjusting for inflation they were both about the same price, $15,000. It was not extravagant either.
    Its an expensive business funerals! Its an unfortunate thing that most people have to endure both emotionally and financially. I’m not sure which shock it worse!

  2. curvyroads says:

    Another very good reason…and well-stated.

  3. dianaepona says:

    I’m all for a Star Wars funeral such as Darth Vader got. Build a pyre, and have a respectful bonfire. The rest is ghoulish and barbaric. Here in Middle Earth they charge to heat the ground in the winter so a hole can be dug. And then there is the lining that goes into the grave so nothing “leaks out” into the dirt as everything decomposes. The cost of the plot itself is terrible. And don’t forget the head stone. Do you know an urn for flowers on said head stone is extra? My husband says he wants his ashes put into a coffee can. If he goes first, I suppose I can manage that. I think a Costa coffee can would be best. Their slogan is, “What’s that smell?” Good piece, Hook. And excellent points to consider!

  4. Lost at sea is sounding better all the time.

  5. An excellent reason to hang on as long as possible. Good job, Hook

  6. Seagulls, sharks, and turtles. Arrrrgh.
    There is no way out without cash by someone.
    (A coastal community near here is always having problems: people pay for ashes being dumped off boats in the gulf – not realizing those ashes are being carried by waves/currents to the shore and all along docks in canal residential areas. Gross and unsettling for the home owners…who like to swim/fish off their docks. UGH)
    Well said post, Hook

  7. Doug in Oakland says:

    Sometimes if you’re very poor, they just cremate you and look for someone to give the box with a portion of the ashes in it to.
    That’s what they did with my friend Michelle after her suicide.
    My friend Dan, on the other hand, after he died of bone cancer, had some of his ashes smuggled back into Cuba where he was born, and from what I understand, against the wishes of the Castro regime…
    That couldn’t have been cheap, and while he wouldn’t have thought of it himself, he probably would have gotten a good laugh about it.
    I know a biker who once admitted to me that the only thing that stopped him from killing himself was an inability to do it in a way that wouldn’t make someone else have to deal with his corpse.
    I guess if you really want to not be around any more, you can forget such things, but he couldn’t, and as such is still riding around, as far as I know.

  8. kunstkitchen says:

    There’s the new eco-burial option of having your ashes buried at the bottom of a seedling tree. Seems a nice way to become something to appreciate. One can buy the seedling on line. (Weird) Anyway. A dear friend committed suicide, when I was in college. It was devastating to all his friends.

  9. Funerals cost an average of $8000 in the states and that is nothing fancy. Even if you get cremated, you still have all the other stuff you mentioned. Again… those left behind have the burden. 😦

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