Cremation is not the end

Date Published: 
October, 2005
Original Author: 
Burton Fletcher
AAA Valdosta Memorials
Original Publication: 
ICFM Magazine, October 2005

"I'm going to have my ashes thrown into the ocean," my cousin said. My stomach began to twist, and I said, "Don't you want a monument where you will be remembered?"

Something just does not seem right about spreading ashes without a permanent location for memorialization. Cremation has taken off, but that doesn't mean we can't include in our preneed plan a good monument that memorializes our lives.

When I informed my mother that I wished to be cremated when I die, she responded with, "Oh, don't do that!" She would rather that her corpse decompose in a casket and vault, and if that is what she wants, I support her wish.

As for me, I already have my $200 urn for my cremated remains. Then, there is $595 for the lower-priced cremation services. That's $795 so far, leaving a lot of money for a nice memorial that will last through the ages.

I will spend a couple thousand dollars retail for an attractive cremation bench (with porcelain photographs) with an internal chamber to hold the cremated remains of myself and my former housekeeper, for whom I am the caregiver as she now suffers from dementia. We have extra room inside the chamber beneath the bench, so we will also rest with the cremated remains of our family dog, who has been our faithful companion for many years.

With the cremation, urn and bench totaling $3,000, there will be money left over for a commercial grade flagpole, and I still have money to spend on a nice monument with three bronze plaques.

I love my nieces and nephews, but I'm going to treat myself right and give myself the kind of memorial I deserve.

Wanting to be remembered is a normal human emotion, and that need is satisfied best by the memorialist who takes the time to turn a monument into a fitting memorial.

Preneed planning is the right way to prepare for the inevitable. I trust others, but I trust myself more when it comes to doing things my way.

How about you?