Planning your own funeral?

Welcome to Wondercafe2!

A community where we discuss, share, and have some fun together. Join today and become a part of it!

Mendalla

Eastern Lowland Gorilla-in-law
Joined
May 2, 2014
Messages
33,210
Location
The Forest City
Dad had the full prepaid package and had a lot of ideas written for readings, hymns, music, etc. That simplified things a lot for his pastor (he was ELCIC when he died) and us.

I have not done anything formal like that nor have I really thought too deeply about what my service would look like, just have stray ideas. I may get there someday but right now, if I pop off unexpectedly, Mrs. M gets to figure it out for herself. Hopefully, with some help from Little M or my brothers. My childhood friend, too. He did a great eulogy for another of our merry little band who died way too young.

That said, I would prefer a UU chaplain leading. I can certainly think of some readings and music I would include if I did put in the effort. Readings would mostly be poetry ranging from Horace (1st century BCE) to Mary Oliver (20th-21st century CE). Maybe Ecclesiaste 3:1-8 (Unto every thing...). I have always talked, only half-jokingly, that my service should include my remains being carried out to "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life" from Monty Python's The Life of Brian. The UU hymn "We Laugh, We Cry" would be another option if hymns are going to happen. Perhaps McDade's "Spirit of Life", too.

@Jobam Those song choices from The Greatest Showman would be terrific. I love the music even if the movie didn't quite live up to its score.
 

KayTheCurler

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 12, 2014
Messages
5,183
I have talked with my kids (the ones who will listen anyway) about my death. None of my kids are church people, they don't know hymns, and they never sing with others, so that cuts out that option.

I have a son who will follow through as best as possible with my vague outline.
Cremation.
Hubby or a son could provide an urn (they are both woodworkers).

If it is still Covid times things pretty much end there except for sending the ashes down river during a wiener roast!
Or it continues with a
Gathering of interested folk at a community hall.
Option for people to share stories,
Catered light lunch.

I assured the kids that my thoughts aren't written in stone and I won't care what, if anything, happens once I'm dead!
 

Pinga

Room for All
Joined
May 2, 2014
Messages
10,679
Location
Ontario
note re creating an urn.
My brother created beautiful urns for my parents. Matching.
We put my mom in hers in the columbarium.
Dad's was in a safe location, until needed, then, I went to put his in the columbarium beside mom.
It was discovered, at that time, that water /mud had gotten into the columbarium niche and rotted mom's beautiful urn from the bottom up.
Learning -- put legs on them which are metal and lift them up from the floor of the niche.
 

KayTheCurler

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 12, 2014
Messages
5,183
That must have been a disappointment. Certainly not a thing most people would think of. Maybe I should ask around to see if there is a columbarium around here. Never heard of one.

We both suggested that our ashes be released into the local river that we have paddled and camped beside for many years. I'll let the kids decide if they want to float them away in the urn or toss the ashes in the river and the urn in the campfire!
 

jimkenney12

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 6, 2014
Messages
400
Hearing stories about and attending a couple of disappointing funerals, I wrote out a draft of my funeral service over 18 years ago. I updated it a couple of times since then. Decided on cremation with illegal dispersal of my ashes. Location of dispersal would be up to my family. Possibilities include the Bow River in Calgary or the Ottawa River or the Atlantic coast of Nova Scotia. Location of the service would be up to my family. I update my music choices at times. Colouring outside the lines and I was there to hear your birthin' cry are my current must include. Maybe also I feel the winds of God today. After doing a service for a friend who insisted on having the final words for her service, I have some final words. Once I am retired for a while, I will probably review the service again.
 

BetteTheRed

Resident Heretic
Joined
Jun 6, 2014
Messages
19,053
Oh, and urns and ashes. Please make it clear what you'd like done with the ashes. Or you end up with someone who 'has' the ashes, desperate to get instructions from sibs about what to 'do' with them. Dad was supposed to be scattered on Halkyn Moor in Wales. Mom scattered half, brought back the rest...for me...she wanted cremation and picked a nice box, but then, no instructions. I asked my sisters what to do with these things. They were very non-committal, and in fact, downright vague. They're certainly not down with paying for anything permanent; I did try to push for some details.
 

Pinga

Room for All
Joined
May 2, 2014
Messages
10,679
Location
Ontario
This is one set of the columbarium.
They are in a beautiful location on a ridge. Each side has 48 niches. Each niche can hold two sets of remains. So, in this small space, there are 3 columbarium x 2 sides x 48/side x 2/niche or 576 sets of remains. You can see how this solution works well in urban areas.
To be fair, the cemetery staff were shook up when they opened it up. it hadn't occurred previously. They were very professional, provided options, and paid the bill when we figured out what to do.
They also did investigations in the other ones to see if any others had been damaged. It just was location / circumstances for us.

1614046609669.png
 

Pinga

Room for All
Joined
May 2, 2014
Messages
10,679
Location
Ontario
ps. none of which has to do with planning your own funeral, but, overall, i think it is a good solution if you feel people might wish to come visit your spot.
 

PilgrimsProgress

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 6, 2014
Messages
1,305
I will be cremated, and my ashes will be next to my husband's in the bush garden part of the cemetery. Whenever I attend a funeral there I visit my husband and my sister -her ashes are in the rose garden. I often wonder if I'm one of the few people who knows exactly where my ashes will be when I'm gone? It's actually a nice place for my last resting place - the native flowers attract the native birds.......

What I would really like is a memorial service whilst I'm still alive. I could hear my favourite hymn, my favourite psalm, and my favourite preacher.

Oh, and I'd like to see which friends and relatives turn up - and, hopefully, hear them all say how much I meant to them!
 

KayTheCurler

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 12, 2014
Messages
5,183
I would fear that no one would turn up. Or that they would turn up and criticise me!
 

ninj

I just am
Joined
Jul 3, 2014
Messages
3,033
Location
Fredericton
We had a woman have her funeral at our church because her church would not allow the exit music to be the William Tell Overture ... as all is being told in the overture of the act!

Dum-di-di dumb ...

It appears an "overture" indicates some sort of agreement ... (in a generally conflicted and disagreeable accrued form)!

More poorly understood word ...
Extra funny on the organ :LOL:
 

ninj

I just am
Joined
Jul 3, 2014
Messages
3,033
Location
Fredericton
About 10 years ago, I heard on cbc you could come in at $1000 because all you legally need is a paperwork fee, body bag, friend's pickup, some willing hoisters and expenses for a plot on a small town plot and gravedigger. I wonder if that's still true. Dalhousie has a med school arrangement to collect cadavers but I hear they're kind of picky. No deal if they hand you back!
 
Joined
Jun 28, 2014
Messages
29,140
Location
BC
I’ll have someone deliver a lecture about Bill C7, followed by the hard rock refrain of Stairway to Heaven. “And as we wind on down the road...Dunna, dunna, dun dun! Our shadows taller than our souls...there walks a lady we all kno-o-ow. Who shines bright light and wants to show. How everything still still turns to gold...and if you listen really ha-ard the tune will come to you at la-ast. When all are One and One is all yeah. To be a rock and not to roll...And she’s bu-uying the stai-ay-air-way...to Hea-ven...” Then I’d thank, in a note, everybody for coming. Thanks to those who always had my back, and to those who didn’t - no names mentioned - I hope they can go forward, and can make up for it, by having someone else’s back who’s like me. Cucumber sandwiches are available in the lobby.

I'm kidding, I think. I really don’t know what service I want after I die and I don’t think it matters. I’m not that important. It’s a weird thing to put energy into thinking about on my own behalf long before my life should be over. Actually a workshop on disability rights instead of a standard service, might not be a bad idea. It’s a haunting problem.
 
Last edited:

Carolla

wondering & wandering
Joined
May 28, 2014
Messages
8,122
Location
Ontario
What I would really like is a memorial service whilst I'm still alive. I could hear my favourite hymn, my favourite psalm, and my favourite preacher.
Funny you should mention this. About 10 years or so ago, a younger friend was at Emmanuel College & had to prepare a 'funeral sermon' as an assignment. She asked on fb if anybody wanted to be a 'subject' & I was amongst those who said yes, as was the person she chose. She interviewed my daughter (also a friend) and wrote a beautiful passage. I was touched by her words. I think I printed it out & put it in my file. It was an interesting experience. She has since left church ministry and is now a funeral director, having completed that training & certification.
 
Joined
Jun 28, 2014
Messages
29,140
Location
BC
Yeah, a living Irish style wake - to be there and have some fun on the way out - would be a better idea than a funeral. But then what if I made a surprise recovery or decided not to die? Would the pressure be on, like “Figures! I think she just wanted us to help pay for her party! I bought a round for the house in her honour and she’s still here?!” (Seriously I can almost hear the chattering already.)...so then one might feel like, “I guess I need to die then.”
 
Last edited:

Lastpointe

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 6, 2014
Messages
4,009
Location
Toronto
I think prepaying for funerals is a somewhat good idea and a somewhat not good idea

occasionally people are surprised at what is covered and not covered. And what if you or your family no longer lives there. Then what?

I did learn a few money saving tips when my mom died. We had her body picked up by the funeral. my brother and I then met with the guy. He was actually very helpful particularity around obituaries, costs, what papers, format. Had lots of samples to look at

we had her cremated as no one was around for a funeral parlor funeral. We had a later memorial funeral. But we paid to move her twice. Hospital to Parlour, Parlour to crematorium. Could have just gone hospital to crematorium we found out later. About $400 wasted

for my dad we had a viewing and service in the church. But we were also going to cremate him after the service. So there we rented the casket rather than buy one that would just get burned up

for both we interred them in the plot my grandparents are in. Cemetery plots can hold a couple of bodies but can hold several boxes of remains. Though it cost a few hundred dollars to have them dig a little hole. And when my dad died we had the gravestone engraved for both, with just the date for my mom left blank. That was cheaper th doing two names at separate times
 
Joined
Jun 28, 2014
Messages
29,140
Location
BC
I think prepaying for funerals is a somewhat good idea and a somewhat not good idea

occasionally people are surprised at what is covered and not covered. And what if you or your family no longer lives there. Then what?

I did learn a few money saving tips when my mom died. We had her body picked up by the funeral. my brother and I then met with the guy. He was actually very helpful particularity around obituaries, costs, what papers, format. Had lots of samples to look at

we had her cremated as no one was around for a funeral parlor funeral. We had a later memorial funeral. But we paid to move her twice. Hospital to Parlour, Parlour to crematorium. Could have just gone hospital to crematorium we found out later. About $400 wasted

for my dad we had a viewing and service in the church. But we were also going to cremate him after the service. So there we rented the casket rather than buy one that would just get burned up

for both we interred them in the plot my grandparents are in. Cemetery plots can hold a couple of bodies but can hold several boxes of remains. Though it cost a few hundred dollars to have them dig a little hole. And when my dad died we had the gravestone engraved for both, with just the date for my mom toleft blank. That was cheaper th doing two names at separate times
I don't think it's a good idea, because it's really up to the people still living, how they want or need to grieve.

I don't need a monument in my memory. Hopefully, people will have a few good memories to honour me with privately. That's ok by me.

(In fact if people don't want to help out people like me while we're living, I'd be rather pissed and turning in my grave if I knew they wheeled out a lot of unnecessary money for a fancy headstone after I died.)
 
Last edited:

KayTheCurler

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 12, 2014
Messages
5,183
MIL died here as we were her caregivers as her life wound down. However, the funeral and burial were to take place in her home town three hours away. In order to appease her mother we allowed her to decide 'whatever she wanted'. So, the body was transported to the home town. It was December, the ground had to be thawed in order to dig the grave in the 'approved' rural graveyard. Actually we also had to pay for a plough to open the driveway there and make space for people to stand around. There was a standard funeral with hymns that none of the younger generation knew.

It cost an arm and a leg. MIL didn't want that - but her mother did.
 

Mendalla

Eastern Lowland Gorilla-in-law
Joined
May 2, 2014
Messages
33,210
Location
The Forest City
Since Mom died young, Dad already had a plot and headstone with space to add him so it was a bit of a no-brainer. It's in the same cemetery as his parents and Mom's brother. The last was a bit of a coincidence. My uncle died before any of the others (I don't think he even made it to 50) and was buried in his wife's family's plot, which happens to be near where Grandma and Grandpa are buried.

Frankly, I'd prefer to be cremated and scattered rather than taking up space after I'm gone, but I am hearing that environmentally speaking, there's some better options coming down the pipe (like composting :oops:).
 
Top