Traveler

What to do about your death?

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What is your plan to do with your body when you die?  Traditionally we spend a lot of money to embalm our body (not very many people have much of an understanding of what that involves) and then we spend a bunch of money for a burial plot, casket and other such stuff.  We are buried following our funeral and other possible rituals.   LDS funerals are usually held in dedicated meeting facilities and are under the direction of the Bishop or Branch President.   Some LDS are under the mistaken idea that they can specify almost anything they want to take place at their funeral but this is not the case.

Very often the limits of the LDS guidelines are somewhat pushed and sometimes allowed as an effort to comfort those grieving.  Often a will can make procedures at LDS funerals difficult to be carried out.  I have carefully crafted my personal will to make sure that the wishes of my beloved survivors do not interfere in any way with the intent of LDS funeral guidelines.  Other than that – I do not care much about the funeral services.  I have also indicated that my body is to be dedicated to science at my arch rival University of Utah.  This I figure will be my last act of service associated to my mortal life for my fellow man.

My intent is not so much to avoid unnecessary costs (which I personally do not think is really that big of a deal).  I have purchased a vault that will contain my temple cloths, my personal life history – written mostly by me, and whatever remains are not used are wanted by science.  My beloved wife struggles with my choices and has different ideas for herself and wants us to be buried – side by side.  I have decided that her desires are okay with me – so I have specified that the contents of what I had planned for the vault can be buried next to my beloved wife – and she is okay now with a compromise with the University where after a few years that what remains of my body are given back to the family for burial. 

What plans do others have? And what have you done to make sure your loved ones are a “peace” with your choices.

 

The Traveler

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An interesting tangent of this question, is despite your wishes on what to do with your body, what will the people who make the decisions actually do with you?  They're not always the same thing.

I've adopted my wife's wise desires in this matter.  I want whatever will be best for my children.  If they want a traditional overly-expensive funeral and a headstone they'll feel guilty for not visiting, so be it.  If they want to mix my ashes with jello and fire me out of a goop-cannon, whatever.  Burial at sea sounds fun.  Leave me for the carnivores?  Yeah, ok.  

No matter how much I care now, I don't think I'll care much after death.

Edited by NeuroTypical

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Guest LiterateParakeet

I seriously considered donating my body to science. First of all I thought of it as a service as Traveler mentioned. Medical students need to learn somehow. And so much of burial costs....fabric lined coffins....seems silly and frivilous to me.

I changed my mind though after I read When Breathe Becomes Air (I'll edit with the author's name later). He talked about medical school and learning with cadavers. He talked a bit about what they do...basically slice one piece off at a time until the body is nothing but a pile of tissue unrecognizable as human. He talked about an instructure who put his elbow on the covered face of a body, leaned on that elbow and talked for about 15 min. He said he had never known a doctor to donate their body to science and he thought it was because they know what is done with them.

I agree with Neuro, much of it is for the comfort of the ones left behind, so I'll mostly leave it up to them. But I want them to know I want the most economical, low frills trappings possible. So they won't be guilt ed into more by a salesman funeral director.  My preference is no embalming, no coffin...buried in a shroud like Jewish people.

As to my funeral there is a church appropriate song I would like presented, for the comfort of the family. The song is In This Very Room. 

Most importantlyI have a durable power oh health and a living will...so if my family gets put in that painful position, I hope to ease their pain by living specific instructions rather than living them to feel guilty about pulling the plug. I say no life support but yes to comfort care.

Edited by LiterateParakeet

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I'm sad to hear that LP. I've had roommates who took classes that had cadavers and they related the utter respect the students and professors exhibited. I used to watch a reality show that was about a funeral home and the respect they showed the dead was very impressive.

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Guest MormonGator
23 minutes ago, beefche said:

I'm sad to hear that LP. I've had roommates who took classes that had cadavers and they related the utter respect the students and professors exhibited. I used to watch a reality show that was about a funeral home and the respect they showed the dead was very impressive.

I agree with Beefche. Most funeral homes treat the deceased with a huge amount of respect, sometimes going to the point of losing money to make sure that the dead have decent burials. 

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I have a CD of my favorite music I want played at the gravesite after everything is finished.  I want my favorite hymn sung (There Is A Green Hill Far Away).  If it can be arranged I want the bagpipes played graveside (if heaven forbid it is a LOD death they will be anyway).  Bury me with a department patch, but none of my badges, those are for my kids/family.  Cheapest casket.  Inexpensive headstone.

Edited by mirkwood

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I want to be buried in a Kiss casket with my bible and Book of Mormon. At my funeral I want them "Ring them Bells" by Bob Dylan played, along with "Nearer my God to thee". Other than that, I don't care. 

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My family has been instructed to go the cheapest possible route for disposing of my body once I'm done with it.  Then, they're to take the money they saved on not buying a casket, gravesite, headstone, funeral prep, etc. and buy each of my kids a final gift from me.  (My wife too.) 

They have been warned that failure to abide by my wishes will result in my mercilessly haunting them.

My daughter joked that they should just have a taxidermist stuff my corpse and keep it in my favorite chair.  Then at Christmas they can dress it up as Santa Claus, or the Easter Bunny at Easter, etc.

So donate my body to science so med students can hack it up or whatever.  I don't care.  I'll be elsewhere with much more important things to think about.

Edited by unixknight

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I may be frivolous, but I like the idea of a grave with a marker--and that my body was buried there. I won't be there, but it is still a sacred place of memory for those I leave behind. I attended a funeral once that was done Christian-style. The family was Vietnamese, and most of the relations were not Christian. They all (first generation immigrants) seemed so impressed that "Grandma's body was not burned." Somehow, in our extravagance we communicated the glory of God's creation of humanity. I wouldn't push my ideas on others, but I'm looking at the funeral expenses as an investment in the belief of the value of our lives. 

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9 minutes ago, prisonchaplain said:

I may be frivolous, but I like the idea of a grave with a marker--and that my body was buried there. I won't be there, but it is still a sacred place of memory for those I leave behind. I attended a funeral once that was done Christian-style. The family was Vietnamese, and most of the relations were not Christian. They all (first generation immigrants) seemed so impressed that "Grandma's body was not burned." Somehow, in our extravagance we communicated the glory of God's creation of humanity. I wouldn't push my ideas on others, but I'm looking at the funeral expenses as an investment in the belief of the value of our lives. 

I respect that, and it makes sense.

I'm a bit jaded when it comes to funeral expenses.  An average funeral is between $6,000 and $10,000...  The cost of a decent car.  They can get away with this because funeral costs are usually covered by insurance or the estate, so the family doesn't have to come out of pocket for it and therefore don't really think about it too hard.

Dying is big business.

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We paid just short of $2000 for our package of will papers to be done. During the discussion with the head lawyer, we talked about 'living will.' This is one of the more minor points in the process--as many prepare them without lawyers. However, we were hesitating over when to dictate the plug be pulled. The attorney said, "You know, you can stipulate that the hospital must get an outside doctor, with no connections to the hospital, to confirm the diagnosis. That way you will feel you've done due diligence, but you won't be stuck with the emotional need to hold out unnecessarily."  I told him that this piece of advice alone was probably with the $2K.

$6-10K is a lot of money for most folks. However, I believe the idea that what God created is valuable, and worth remember in a permanent, marked location--the lesson to our children and future grandchildren may be worth the price.

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That is good advice.

I think the problem when it comes to funeral costs is that there's this idea that if you don't blow a huge fortune on a funeral for a loved one then it's because you don't really love them.

What you said about leaving a marked memorial makes sense, PC... I just wish it didn't cost a fortune to do it.

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Guest LiterateParakeet
On March 9, 2016 at 11:26 AM, MormonGator said:

I agree with Beefche. Most funeral homes treat the deceased with a huge amount of respect, sometimes going to the point of losing money to make sure that the dead have decent burials. 

MG, I'm confused by this comment.  Beefche and I were talking about donating bodies to science, but you mentioned funeral homes . . . I can't figure out the connection or miscommunication.  Help?

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Guest MormonGator
9 minutes ago, LiterateParakeet said:

MG, I'm confused by this comment.  Beefche and I were talking about donating bodies to science, but you mentioned funeral homes . . . I can't figure out the connection or miscommunication.  Help?

Oh, I was just using the funeral homes as an example to show that most dead bodies are treated with the highest respect. I fully assume that scientists and schools do the same. 

Sorry for the confusion. 

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Guest LiterateParakeet
10 minutes ago, MormonGator said:

Oh, I was just using the funeral homes as an example to show that most dead bodies are treated with the highest respect. I fully assume that scientists and schools do the same. 

Sorry for the confusion. 

Now I get it. Thanks. 

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Guest MormonGator
8 minutes ago, LiterateParakeet said:

Now I get it. Thanks. 

It was my fault, looking back I wasn't clear at all.  

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Guest LiterateParakeet
2 hours ago, unixknight said:

That is good advice.

I think the problem when it comes to funeral costs is that there's this idea that if you don't blow a huge fortune on a funeral for a loved one then it's because you don't really love them.

What you said about leaving a marked memorial makes sense, PC... I just wish it didn't cost a fortune to do it.

Yes, I agree with all of this. First, PC makes good points.  Second, I don't want my family to spend a fortunate (that is a fortune for us) on my funeral/burial.  I am frugal in life, I shall be frugal in death.

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10 minutes ago, LiterateParakeet said:

Now I get it. Thanks. 

Beefche mentioned funeral homes first. That's why gator mentioned them as well.

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Guest MormonGator
7 minutes ago, pam said:

Beefche mentioned funeral homes first. That's why gator mentioned them as well.

The writer Hunter Thompson wanted to be cremated and have his ashes shot out of a cannon. Pam, I heard you were thinking the same right? ;)

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7 minutes ago, MormonGator said:

The writer Hunter Thompson wanted to be cremated and have his ashes shot out of a cannon. Pam, I heard you were thinking the same right? ;)

At a Chargers game when they make a touch down. ;)

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Guest MormonGator
7 minutes ago, pam said:

At a Chargers game when they make a touch down. ;)

I think you mean "if" they make a touchdown. Zing! 

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7 minutes ago, MormonGator said:

I think you mean "if" they make a touchdown. Zing! 

Don't make me give you an infraction on the commandment..."Thou shalt not say anything derogatory to Pam about the Chargers." :)

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Guest MormonGator
7 minutes ago, pam said:

Don't make me give you an infraction on the commandment..."Thou shalt not say anything derogatory to Pam about the Chargers." :)

Heavens no, that poor franchise has gone through enough. 

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7 minutes ago, MormonGator said:

Heavens no, that poor franchise has gone through enough. 

Suck up. :)

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