Monday, March 21, 2005

High cost of dying ...

Don't die. It'll cost you a fortune. Do they turn away dead people at cemetaries?
My dear old Mom died. She paid Ocean View Cemetary well ahead for her funeral, didn't want to cause concern or financial burdon to her family. We went to the funeral home to finish the arrangements.
Met a very nice man in black, with black hair. ALL the guys in there had black hair too. Maybe it's one of the Back Arts. All that was missing were the pencil-line mustaches. The guy tells me that people regularly pay 25 to 35 thousand dollars to die! We felt like we were in a huckster's tent. And while we, the grieving family, were in this with the guy, he took 5 (FIVE) phone calls! Some compassion for distraught family!
Mom had her urn engraved before, except of course, for her death date. Now we have to engrave that final date upon her urn ... well we have to pay them $180.oo to OPEN that lil glass door where the urn is sitting right now. Then they take the urn out, (without Mom in it of course) and send it away to the engraver to write 11 more letters on it. Just the date. Eleven letters. ELEVEN letters! $450 dollars more! There's a 'setup' charge from the engraver! You have to pay GST on all this too. They tried to sell us the ceremony too which she had already paid for, but if we wanted food for our guests, that would have been extra. I didn't need to buy a supermarket and Mom didn't want a ceremony so we passed on that. We were completely mortified and got out of that mortuary with having to put the $750. charge on our credit card. And they didn't like the idea of me putting a coin slot on that glass door for donations. There was a man picketting the cemetary outside. Hmm.
Then we wrote a nice farewell message on her behalf to all her interested friends. She happened to be the first female bus driver in BC. We thought she was proud of that and would like to see it in print. Went to the Sun/Province. Tell me I am crazy. I thought a simple obituary notice would cost us like, maybe $100. tops and I wanted a picture of my Mom in her bus driver's uniform. Many of her old passengers would recognize her and remember that tiny woman piloting a huge trolley bus. The girl at the classifieds desk, (with a straight face) said it would cost $600. for the OBIT! SIX hundred dollars! I wasn't looking for a display ad. I am not trying to SELL my old Mom, just want to let people know she won't be calling them again.
And all the while on the newspaper clerk's desk is a late copy of the Province with a headline about a breathing sleeping woman getting sent to the mortuary alive! I think I need to go back and check on my old Mom again! She might have simply been BETWEEN breaths! Sheeez.
No wonder Norman Bates kept his old mom rocking in front of that window all those years, everything was just fine until Janet Leigh comes in and screws everything up! No wonder he got pissed off with her.
Don't die, It's too expensive ... and they treat your family bad after you leave.
Bye Mommy, I love you.

addenda: June 25, three months later, Ocean View Cemetary still has not forwarded an insurance policy cheque that we were told would take about 4 weeks. And they placed the urn in the WRONG niche! And now it has to be moved again! This has now gone way beyond incompetance.

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