Years ago, my father passed suddenly which created an exceptionally emotional time for our family. I had to face reality that my father was not going to be around for those phone calls to say hello or to just hang out and talk about friends, family, sports or current affairs. I realized immediately that I had taken my father for granted. Not in a financial way but always thinking he was going to be there for the family.
Once we arrived at the funeral home, which I might add was an exceptionally emotional time. We were greeted and taken to an office. The first words we received were, our condolences. The second question asked was did your father have a life insurance policy and if so, what was the amount? To say the least, I was not in a good mood and did not want to be there. But I had to stay strong and realized that this had to be done. My response on the insurance question was, it would be taken care of and that was all that needed to be known at this time. The funeral home then started showing us package deals along with what they called “other merchandise”. This included question concerning open or closed casket, viewing, what cemetery we are going to use. Do we want a graveside service, obituary notice for the paper, video production, transportation to gravesite with or without flower car, acknowledgement cards, guest book, preparation for viewing and the list continued. This was all overwhelming as I didn’t know half of the items they were talking about and if they were mandatory or if I had a choice. The one item I knew for a fact was I didn’t want to be there and “OK” to the service was going to be my answer to a lot of the questions.
Once all the items were chosen, it was time to go pick out the casket. I was walked directly to a mahogany wood casket that was beautiful. I then looked at the price which was $10,000. I asked the lady if there was anything cheaper since this was more than we ever dreamed a casket would cost. We then asked to be alone, so we could look at all the options to mostly compare prices for the caskets. We wanted to provide dad the best but were made to feel guilty for not buying the most beautiful and expensive casket they had. After walking around the showroom, we decided on a casket for $3,500.00. We had no idea the cost of everything because we never thought about a funeral. Our total cost to include funeral service, graveside service and monument was over $12,000.00.
The day came for the service which we were now prepared to say good bye for now and lay our father, friend and husband to rest. This was the most difficult day I have ever had since my father was always there for me as a kid, my military career and our family. The service was nice, and my father was laid to rest.
Several months went by and I started thinking about that week. From the moment my father passed to when he was laid to rest. I also thought about the questions the lady at the funeral home asked along with curiosity about all the charges. This is when I started researching funeral options to why they wanted to know about the insurance policy information from the first second we met to package deal pricing.