When a friend of mine lost her mother at 31, she felt her whole world was falling apart. Her mother, just the young age of 53 – much too young for both of them. So many things were going through her mind – why, how, am I dreaming, why me? At the same time, trying to take the steps of planning her Mothers funeral, while going through the shock of losing her.
At 31, the last thing on your mind is having to plan a funeral, let alone understanding all that it requires. You are just starting to get your adult life started. Career, house, Family, bills – just life in general. Then in a split second, her whole life came crashing down. First thing to do, call a Funeral Home. Then, with meeting with the Funeral Director, you find out all the things you must do. You have to notify every one of their passing, from the Government to the credit card companies. Planning your loved one’s final memorial, the one where everyone will be attending, ensuring everything is in order, getting the flowers, choosing the urn/casket, getting the memorial cards picked and finally, writing the obituary.
When thinking of the Funeral, you know what you want, you see it in your mind, but no one truly tells you how much it will cost. When all is chosen – the shock that comes over you. ‘HOW MUCH?’ We all will think it, but you feel guilty because you do. It is not something you planned for, but has to be done. You are left trying to find a way to afford it while at the same time, ensuring you memorialize your loved one the way they would want to be.
Now, the one thing my friend could not understand is how they are allowed to charge what they do for something you cannot control. It is something that we do know is needed but did not realize how much it would cost. Her mother did not have a will and did not have any funds that were left when she passed. She herself was currently off work due to a heart condition – only receiving a small amount each month from medical leave from her work. How could she afford all of this?
She had to decide what she would have to exclude as the ‘less important’ items from the memorial service. Well in her eyes and in everyone else that has to plan a funeral, they are ALL important. One of the hardest decisions she had to make, the length of the obituary. The average cost of an obituary with a picture is approximately $500, she had to choose whether or not to include the picture to have more words or vice versa. In the end, $168 dollars was spent to only have 4 lines in the obituary with no picture included.
She had to tell everyone that she was unable to afford a proper obituary to honor her mother, and in the end, felt ashamed that she could not list ALL whom meant something to her Mother. Her Mother passed away 3 years ago and the pain she has felt because of that has not lessened one bit.
While searching on the internet this afternoon, I found a website that was exactly what my friend needed. This website will allow you to post as many words as you want and add a few pictures. It comes with a Guest Book and the option to print the Obituary. This website is exactly what she needed 3 years ago. I just wish I would have know about this site 3 years ago. My friend would not of had to go through all she had to go through with writing her Mothers Obituary and was just able to say all that she had to say without having to count the words and to not have to exclude the picture.
I do hope some of the information I provided here will help you understand what others may be going through around you when planning a Funeral, and hopefully with this knowledge, provide them with another option for an Obituary for their loved one.