Sister Katherine, who writes the blog Past-Imperfect, shares some thoughts about making funeral arrangements for her dad:

I dreaded having to deal with the funeral home over my dad’s arrangements, but I have to say, they were really fantastic. What I mean is that they made everything so easy. I freaked out about the prices, of course, and I insisted that mom walk out with me without signing anything after our first visit. The walk-out is a high-stakes negotiating tactic, but I didn’t insist on walking out to jack them up. I was just petrified that we were going to sign off on anything just to get out of there.

It was tempting to do that, too. I imagine the business makes a good bit of money betting on folks to do this. Sorry if I’m overly cynical, but hey, I’m my father’s daughter in that regard. It was tough because we were already way behind finalizing things (due to the autop$y which made release of my father’s body a big unknown time-wise for a while there). So we walked out without signing a thing after the first visit.

Then I scrambled to contact other places and check prices. Turns out we came out as well as could be expected. Nobody else’s prices were much more or less in any of the details, the bottom lines all within a few hundred dollars of each other. I like to think my father would be happy with the deal we struck. While his memorial slideshow may have been a little less rough around the edges done by the funeral home, by doing it ourselves, we were able to have a “family car” to transport us for the day of the funeral. They would have used 20 or so photos; ours had about 75. In the trade-off, we were transported around together the whole day in a very large, very comfortable car.

Katherine (I’d call her Sister, but the language she uses in the rest of her post makes me pretty sure that she isn’t a nun) goes on to talk about the possible medical malpractice that led to her father’s death.

But in the quoted section, there are some interesting tidbits about the public perception of funeral homes.

She discusses her fear that she and her mother might sign off on any price just to get it over with.  She talks about the importance of pricing to her.

She admits that, when faced with a limited budget, she chose to make her own slide show so that her family could afford the limousine (family car) to carry them that day.

I’m glad that she found similar prices when she checked out other options.

In these uncertain economic times (the price of oil is affecting just about every other industry in this country) people are invariably going to become more conscious of the costs of all aspects of a funeral service.

A smart funeral director will help a family make difficult decisions (getting a limo rather than a memorial video) that will benefit both parties involved.

EDITOR’S NOTE: 

I often link to blogs or websites that do not belong to a corporation or organization.  Sometimes, these blogs have non-traditional content.  Unfortunately, I don’t have time to check out every nook and cranny of the site to make sure there are no objectionable pictures, words or topics.  Fortunately, I know ya’ll are adults and are smart enough to click away from stuff you can’t handle. 

If, however, you do find something on one of these sites that makes your hair curl (or uncurl, as the case may be), remember, the Internet is a mean world and is not for the timid.  Happy net-surfing!

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