Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Funerals = Luxury + Tradition

The whole process of funerals is steeped in tradition. Funerals are expensive, and are pretty much luxury purchases. Of course, going to a funeral is NOT a luxury, but the money spent isn’t necessarily needed. The concept of “sending someone off with dignity” is built in tradition, not in any actual fact that a person’s passing will be made simpler based on their funeral. This isn’t new. This goes back as deep as the Egyptians who were buried with all their treasures and possessions, as well as their servants, because they believed those things would be with them in the afterlife.

Funerals are more for those left behind than they are for the dead. We want the tradition, we want a nice casket and processional. We want a nice service. We want a burial plot to go back to and visit, and leave flowers. These emotions are valid. There is some sort of sense of closure, or rather, the beginning of getting over the grief, that comes when you leave the funeral, or see the casket lowered. You feel like you’ve been given permission to begin to move on, however long that takes. These emotions and need for the tradition are valid, yet expensive.

The funeral business is a BUSINESS indeed, and a lucrative one, that plays off the emotions of grieving families. Wanna know a secret that's probably not surprising? There is a HEAVY mark-up on funeral items, just like everything else.

Average cost to purchase a casket for the business: $605
Average charge for a casket: $1,815

That’s a 3x mark-up.

This is the reality. A reality that many people don’t even realize until they are in the face of a loss and planning a funeral. There are pre-pay options for services, in which you lock-in a rate instead of paying whatever the going rate is 20 years down the road. But not many people know about this option or even take it because honestly, we don’t like to think about death and dying.

*cue happy music*
Well, that was morbid, but I had to get it out. I’ve been meaning to write this for a few months. Here, have three cute puppies yawning to make you feel better :-)



3 comments:

  1. you have a lovely blog :)


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  2. @Anonymous - indeed. Wanted to get it out.

    ReplyDelete

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