Avoiding the High Cost of Dying

When my parents died–my father in 1993 and my mother a year later–I learned that they had done what seemed like a really good thing. Not only had they pre-selected their lots and their caskets, they’d also paid for everything, leaving none of those business details for me to deal with at a time of sorrow. It was a great convenience, and I’m glad they did it.

In fact, I thought it sounded like a great idea for me to do, too.

But everything I read said it wasn’t a good idea–that it would ultimately mean spending more than needed. What were my wife and I to do? We didn’t want the initial survivor–or our kids, once we were both gone–to be strapped with funeral expenses or to face the the pressure of going whole-hog on the casket. It would be all too easy to say, “He (or She) deserves the best. Else what will people say?”

People are definitely going to be talking about our funerals, but not that way. They may even be jealous that we’ve decided to go the cheapest way possible. By being cremated. Sure. Why not?

A nice casket will be visible during visitation and funeral and then stuck out of sight underground. Would I do that to one of my good guitars? I think NOT!

How much nicer to be reduced to ashes and NOT be kept in an urn, but scattered somewhere appropriate. We’ll give our kids the choice between throwing the ashes into the air at our church’s cemetery or overboard on a Caribbean cruise. Of course, unless we become wealthy between now and then–not likely–they’ll be on their own for the cruise.

As Christians, we believe the dead will be raised to life again eventually. It certainly won’t be any more challenging for the God who created the Universe to find and reassemble all those ashes than it will be to restore us–or anyone else, for that matter–to life.

What do you think–of cremation or anything else I’ve mentioned today? Please leave a comment.


I’ll be back again on Sunday. If you’d like to receive my posts by email, go to “Follow Blog via Email” at the upper right.

“On Aging Gracelessly” is only one of my two blogs. I post lyrics of the Christian songs I’ve written over the last fifty years on  “As I Come Singing.” Check it out HERE if you’re interested.  Free lead sheets (tune, words, and chords) are available for many of them. View the list HERE.

If you enjoy my writing, you’ll find a number of things to read on my website. Also music to listen to and music-related videos to watch.

My newest novel, The Devil and Pastor Gus, is available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Go HERE for links to those places.
Best regards,

2 thoughts on “Avoiding the High Cost of Dying

  1. And when I die… Remember that song about there being one child born in this world to carry on, to carry on… A lot of people do the funeral arrangements ahead of time and for people who live a long life that’s a good thing. Sure takes the stress and financial burden off during times of sadness.

    The sensible thing is cremation. I agree with that 100%. Some folks know no limits to fancy caskets and imposing monuments that are just egomaniac gestures. Ask any pharoah.

    Me, I like living. I see my insignificant place in the cosmos as a wonderful adventure that only I can enjoy. It was comforting when I was a kid to think that this tiny, little mote adrift in the universe was the center of all creation and every heavenly eye pointed toward Earth. It made dark, stormy nights more bearable. But I think it isn’t so.

    So I am trying to enjoy the life I have been granted, be it ever so short and full of uncertainties and regrets.

    What’s really important to me is how I die. I don’t want to be in a long, drawn out suffering mode that drains the life out of my loved ones. I want to go out like a blown candle, all at once, suddenly. If I could choose a heroic way of doing it, even better. I’d save someone or a nation. I prevented a disaster. something dramatic that would not make me flinch when the time came, But of this I have no control. It’s just me, adrift like the Milky Way, in a conundrum of galaxies, wanting to love and be loved.


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