Dead People Inside

I look at cemeteries as being a huge waste of space, good land that that could be used for a golf course or possibly a park.  I hardly ever visit any of my dead relatives as I feel that I can remember them just fine without having to look at a grave inside of a cemetery.  I think it is sad that they have to install fences around graveyards to keep the dead people from escaping, sorry as I couldn’t resist the old joke of people needing to die to get in.  Historical and religious traditions state that our bones should be buried in the ground at a certain depth, so that animals won’t disturb the graves, but worms will still get into rotting corpses.  A lot of raw materials go into burials, formaldehyde replaces your blood in the embalming process, wood is needed for the coffins, and either marble, slate, or granite is used for the headstones, so besides having to buy the gravesite, this incurs a lot of expense.

The average person will need at least $7,000 to cover the costs of a funeral and if the cemetery is maintained, then you will get annual bills for that.  These costs should cover transportation from the hospital mortuary, embalming, casket, the viewing at the funeral parlor, transport to the cemetery, burial costs incurred for digging the hole, other service fees, and other necessary preparations that may pop up.  You will need to pay for the tombstone to get engraved so it says, “Here lies so and so and may they rest in peace.”  What else does a dead body have to do other than rest?   It is a little less expensive to get cremated and then your remains will sit in an urn gathering dust, unless your ashes are disbursed someplace.  I am planning on donating my body to science, but I am not sure if anyone would actually want it.

Written for Sadje at Keep It Alive What Do You See #137, where the Image credit goes to Keith Hardy @ Unsplash.

17 thoughts on “Dead People Inside

  1. I with you, there has been some small movement here to go with a compostable style of tube with tree seeds, but many seem to want to live in the past. Grieving is important but I think a cemetery holds the past too long.

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  2. Wow, $7000! That’s a lot of money. Funerals and burials shouldn’t be that expensive. Thanks a lot for sharing this information. And thanks for joining in Jim

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  3. I was at my grandmother’s funeral and my cousin told me…funerals are for the living…it’s common sense but I never thought of it that way.

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    1. Around 355 BC, King Mausolus of Caria (4th century BC) was married to his sister Artemisia. When Mausolus came to the end of his life he was buried with a magnificent funeral amid the laments and embraces of his wife. Aflame with grief and desire for her husband, Artemisia mixed his bones and ashes with perfume, crushed them to a powder, then added the powder to water and drank it. This was the first mausoleum.

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  4. Very interesting take Jim. I will respectfully disagree with your view that ‘cemeteries are a waste of space”. I base my own opinion on the fact that generally those who die off first are elderly and therefore the mourners have a lot longer to honor their dead and take remembrances to the grave. Sadly that is falling out of practice and I suspect this coming generation and those beyond them won’t remember why we would bother. Also, IMO, you ‘low-balled’ the cost of the funeral expense. I buried my parents in the early part of 2000 and my husband (cremated) in 2012. Pop who went first had a double policy to cover his and my mother’s burial costs. His entire funeral cost around $3,500 (not including the head stone). My mother, who passed two years after Pop, cost around $6,000. Hubby would have cost me about $12,000 (he was extra large and they blamed additional cost on how heavy he was) to see him buried and a stone placed. Fortunately he was military and they paid for him (reimbursed me is a better way of saying that – they gave me $250 initially and said “good luck”). Even the cremation cost $5,000 (again with the large size being blamed). They paid for the stone because he is in a military cemetery. I have two policies in place for when I totter off the perch and I just hope they’re enough. The option of the biodegradable ‘casket’ or that tree planting idea are common choices now too. Save for the fact that I’ll have ashes buried with me, I’d choose either of the bio-friendly options over a wood casket. “We come from dust, to dust we shall return”. Covid price gouging has sent everything through the roof, and I shudder to think what burying someone costs now. It’s good to be prepared. Eventually too the cemeteries you might see now will disappear, just like the dozens that we have built over, walk on, and live above everywhere. Lotta people died, and I don’t know what might be done with the remains if something wasn’t in place to take care of the bodies. Soylent Green maybe? 😉

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