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Outer Burial Containers

When I was a child, around 5 or 6 years old, I attended funerals of relatives and friends with my parents. The church I attended had its own cemetery and I saw a lot of burials at that age and beyond. The memory of the grave diggers digging long and deep red clay graves  remain very vividly in my mind. I shall never forget  the grave diggers  placing a wooden box in the grave; and the funeral staff, using a block and tackle (with chains clashing) lowering the casket into the box in the ground. I shall never forget the sad faces of  the family members, minister and friends as they watched the grave diggers shovel the red clay over the casket. As a child, I did not understand the meaning of death, felt so sad and thought it was horrible that the person was placed in the ground and covered with red dirt. How can they breathe, I would ask my parents. It was a much happier day for me when I finally saw a concrete burial vault placed in the red clay grave before the casket was lowered in the ground.  In fact the church community  was very excited to see this new type outer container. Today, outer burial containers are not required by law, but are required by many cemeteries. To prevent the grave from sinking, families  can choose a burial vault that is usually made of concrete and surrounds the casket, or a grave liner(which is much cheaper).  When the time comes for you to decide between the two outer burial containers, a burial vault or grave liner,  ask the appropriate professional for a written description and price list of each. As an adult, I feel more comfortable about graves    than I did in my younger years,  but have chosen to have my remains placed in  a mausoleum.

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.cremation Service Options

According to my research, there are cremation service options. The family may have a direct cremation along with a formal service. Or have a memorial service a few days after the cremation takes place. Some families choose to have a funeral service before cremation, known as a “traditional” cremation, which is opposite of a direct cremation.
In some states the family can arrange a direct cremation with the funeral home of choice making the arrangements. The funeral home will transport the body to the crematory, as well as complete the death certificate. There will be a small fee for these services.

If the family chooses to arrange a Direct Cremation at a Crematory, the staff, in most cases will handle the details including transporting the body and completing the death certificate. The charges will be a fraction of the price that a funeral home charges for the same services.

Direct cremation is the least expensive option because there is no wake, visitation or viewing before cremation. The family can engage the services of a crematory directly and have the body cremated immediately following the death of a loved one. Therefore, avoid the costs of embalming the body, purchasing an expensive casket, providing family transportation, engaging the services of a funeral home, pre-funeral events,and having a formal funeral service.

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Cremation: Federal Trade Commission’s Funeral Rules

One of my children asked me why I am so obsessed with blogging about Funeral Goods and Services. I think it is therapeutic and I enjoy learning new things. Anyway< i will share with you information on your rights when planning a direct cremation. It is according to the Federal Trade Commission's Funeral Rules. If you are having a direct cremation: 1. You are never required to use or purchase a casket. 2. The funeral home or crematory you choose must make available an unfinished wooden box or alternate container for the cremation3. 3. If you provide an urn to the crematory, the remains must be returned to you in the urn you provide. 4. If you do not provide an urn, the cremated remains must be returned to you in a container, which may be a cardboard box. This information is good to know if one chooses to be cremated. I found something else you should know about. Check Website: myfes.net/amurphy2 Then click on Products, and review "My Care Plan".

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Wills, Living Trusts and Power of Attorney

I found something wonderful that can save you money and secure your future, something you should know about. Do you have a Will or a Living Trust? Have you appointed someone to have your Power of Attorney? These are documents we all need to be sure our wishes are carried out in the event of our death or for some reason we are unable to take care of our own affairs. To prepare these documents can cost hundreds and even thousands of dollars. That is why I want to share a Website with you on “My Care Plan.” “My Care Plan ” is through Financial Education Services,and is a comprehensive package that includes everything you need to prepare Wills, Living Trusts and name your Power Attorney.This system was developed by attorneys and is endorsed by credit unions and community banks. Full legal documents are prepared and sent directly to you, the client,(customer) for signing and Notarizing. The cost of the entire package is at a fraction of the cost that most attorneys charge.

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Funeral Goods and Services-Cremation

Within the past eight weeks six of my close friends have deceased. A traditional funeral service was held for five of my friends and one was cremated. The cremation took place immediately following his death. There was no viewing, visitation or wake prior to the cremation, which eliminated the need for embalming or body preparation. A few days later the family had a beautiful Memorial Service for him. A very large,handsome picture of him was centered in front of the church sanctuary and was surrounded with lovely, colorful fresh floral arrangements. This eliminated the need for an expensive casket and funeral arrangements. This environment took away my sadness. It was peaceful, quiet and serene.
Now, I am re-thinking my original ideas about cremation. According to my research, the cost of cremation typically ranges from $2000 to $3000 if arranged through a funeral home. And between $1500 and $3000 if arranged directly through a crematory. My next blog will be about Funeral Rules as related to cremation.

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Cremation

Many, many years ago families in my immediate family and community would not dream of cremating their deceased loved ones and refuse to discuss the concept. There was the thought that the deceased might be able to feel the heat from the fire while being cremated. A foolish thought I guess. But, that was my sentiment also. Today it seems more of my family members, as well as several people in my immediate community and other places choose cremation over traditional burials because it is less expensive and saves dwindling land space.
My son and family members suggested that I remove my stubborn self and grant the wishes of those who expressed the desire to be cremated after their death. One of my sister’s who is a medical doctor has a strong desire to be cremated and has requested that her ashes be place in an urn between our parents grave. “No trouble out of you”, she admonished me.
My son says that he’d rather be cremated and placed in an urn than decay in a hole in the ground. Both relatives like the idea of direct cremation and burial rather than have family pay embalming expense. Of course, they still want to have a funeral service before cremation or a memorial service afterwards
I know that should I be alive at my son’s and sister’s deaths,even though it will pain me, I will honor their wishes, feelings and beliefs. Think about it, would you like to be cremated or buried?
Talk with you about this subject on my next blog.

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Funeral services

I believe that what one does not understand helps to create fear.
Cremation has been one of my fears. Now I must explore Cremation process and accessories, only because my only son said to me,”Mom, I wish to be Cremated when I die, because I see no sense in taking up space in the ground that could be used for something more productive.”
“Oh No!” was my reply. Fear gripped me , the thought of my only son being burned was overwhelming. Later, I received a call from one of my sisters,a surgeon. she said, “Sis I know you do not approve of Cremation for your family members, but I want to be cremated when I pass. I want my ashes buried between our parents. Please do not give my husband grief about my decision.” I replied, “I promise, I will honor your wishes, no grief.” I have thought long and hard about those conversations between my son, sister and me, and decided to lay my fears aside and research the Cremation process. Look to read my findings soon, and please don’t judge me, I am only human.

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Funeral Merchandise

Within the last five weeks three of my neighbors and a personal friend passed away. As I grieve their deaths, I feel the urgency to provide information on the types of merchandise one can purchase through the funeral home. For a fee, the family can be provided a Casket (or alternative container); Outer burial container; Acknowledgement cards; Register Book; Prayer Cards; Memorial Folders; Burial clothing; Family flowers, Cremation, Cremation Urn and an Air Tray. The family pays for any of the following if selected: Certified Death Certificates, Clergy, Musician, Paid Notices, Professional Escorts, Custody care of the remains, Programs cemetery plot, and opening and closing of grave/overtime.

The family must also pay for automotive equipment: Transfer of remains to the funeral home:Hearse to the Cemetery or Crematory; Use of limousine services, Sedan, Use of utility vehicle and repass pick up/Delivery.

Maybe I have left something out, but not much. I have required the services of a Funeral Home many,many times in different States and have found each Funeral Staff to be professional,and their equipment, Goods and Services to be outstanding. Because of their graciousness, I have been able to let my loved -one’s and friends go, graciously.

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Dehydration is Dangerous

Have you ever been dehydrated? Do you know that dehydration can lead to death? If you do to believe me do the research. A dehydrated person can have loose stools, very dark urine, start vomiting, become dizzy, confused, have heart palpitations, etc. Another way to determine if you are dehydrated is to pinch the back of your hand with two fingers, if the skin stands up in one, two, or three folds you will know without a doubt that you need to drink water. If you become weak and can hardly stand or walk and feel faint, call your primary care doctor or have someone take you to the hospital or an Urgent Care facility. Please drink plenty of water and keep yours body hydrated.
Don’t forget, do the research and take care of your health.

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Watch your Cholesterol

On my most recent visit to the doctor, both of us were very pleased that my Cholesterol was lower than it had been the past three years. As you may already know, Cholesterol is a fatlike substance found in every cell of the body. It serves a good purpose. the body needs it to produce hormones, it is part of our skin tissue and it aids in transporting fatty acid in the body. I am not a health or nutrition expert, but I am a Home Economist and according to my studies, one consumes dietary cholesterol when foods of animal origin are eaten. Liver and egg yolk are especially high in dietary cholesterol. Plant foods do not contain dietary cholesterol. Blood cholesterol comes from saturated fats. If there is too much cholesterol in the blood one increases the risk of having cancer and/or a heart attack. So keep away from excess fats that are found in such foods as fried foods, baked goods, butter, margarine, dairy products, cheeses and creamy salad dressing. Cook with olive oil, canola , corn, soybean oils… No solid oils.

Talk with yo u again soon. In the meantime, eat well and stay healthy.

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