To not want a funeral when I die(77 Posts)
I realise it's slightly wrong, but a zombie thread about funerals has made me chortle (don't get out much )
My mother donated her body.
She didn't want a funeral.
We (DF and DBro and DSis) as we needed the closure of a ceremony. So we organised a memorial service.
It helped those of us who were left and quite honestly I don't feel bad at all that we ignored her wishes. I'm probably a terrible daughter as a result.
I would urge anyone wanting no funeral to speak to their family about it. Once you are dead it won't actually make any difference to you, but it will to them.
Also if you are wanting to donate to medical science you need a backup plan if they won't take you. It also needs to be checked what happens when they are done with you. A relative of DH's got a phone call over 3 years later to say "We're done, you can have your father back now" so he still had to deal with the whole funeral issue, but just ages down the line.
My relative who died in April had a plan for her funeral. Not so much that her husband and close family couldn't tweak things - she left a list of her 10 favourite songs for example. That meant her sister could say "can we not use her absolute favourite, I can't handle it" but didn't leave them floundering over what to use.
Shop around for funeral directors. She'd got quotes from 5. The one she chose did collection, coffin, cremation, hearse, one family car and newspaper notices for £1600. The big chain one locally would have been over £4000.
Also never buy flowers from the actual funeral director. There will be a small florist somewhere locally who'll do them for a fraction of the cost. She had one arrangement only that cost £160 whereas the funeral directors would have charged between £300 and £700 for the same thing. (She then asked people to donate to the cancer charity who helped her so much instead of buying any other flowers as she felt they'd be a waste of money).
Everyone seems to think you can just donate your body and someone will come along and pick it up and save you the bother of paying for your own funeral. This is not the case.
Very few bodies are suitable. You will also be declined if you die over a holiday period, or from Friday over a weekend, or if the university is closed. No one will want if you are already in bits from an accident. Or diabetic. If you die abroad. If you die outside the catchment area of your chosen university hospital.
From Kings College Hospital:
Unfortunately we are not able to accept some bodies for anatomical examination. Although not absolute, the following is a guide to reasons for NOT accepting a bequeathal:
Some infectious diseases: e.g.: Viral Hepatitis, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis
Some forms of dementia
Recent operations: Depending on how soon after surgery the death occurs, how invasive the surgery was and whether or not the wound has healed. Pressure sores, ulcerations.
Gross peripheral oedema: Mild to moderate oedema may be acceptable
Severe deformity of the spine, where a donor is unable to lie flat on their back.
Obesity or very low BMI
When organs, other than corneas, have been donated for transplantation
Any circulatory obstruction that may impact preservation
i enquired about donating my body for research because, for one thing, i dont agree with funerals but its not that straightforward, there are so many ifs and buts, for instance, if you die, say,over christmas and the new year, the university wont be open so you would have to proceed with a normal funeral and if there is widespread cancer or demensia in the body then the uni wont accept it
Because I've been told that they don't want me for medical science ..........
Because I'm fat!!!!
Talk about the final insult!!
We chose not to have a funeral for my dad when he died. Cardboard coffin, cremation with no service. I think he would have been pleased but I tend not to tell anyone as I have some judgey reactions as if we were being cheap (was not relevant) or he was not loved (he was very much).
My FIL keeps saying he doesn't want a funeral and wants to be cremated asap with no ceremony or fuss.
The thing is, I think people actually benefit from the ritual of being able to say farewell to someone. It doesn't matter whether it's a religious service or a wake or what - I think there's a space in people's heads that when someone dies they want to get together and mark their passing. And I think, given that it's your funeral, it helps the people left behind if you give them some idea of what you might like. And let's face it, funerals are more for those still alive than the deceased.
I think YANBU not to want an expensive or elaborate funeral, but I think YABU to say that your family and friends shouldn't have any sort of gathering where they're all welcome, whether its a funeral or a memorial or whatever (I'm not sure if a holiday would work as presumably you wouldn't pay for a holiday for all your friends and extended family that might want to go to a funeral?).
>I would much rather my family used money to go on holiday to our favourite place and remembered me there.
That sounds like a lovely idea to me. I guess the question is, would it to them?
>I don't mind be tipped over the side of a boat the feed the fishes.
apparently there have been problems with people doing that - inadequate weighting - and while feeding the fishes is all very well, it can be unpleasant for the fishermen when they find body parts in nets or lobster pots.
My Mother's side of the family has never had funerals. The immediate male members of the family go to the crematorium to make sure it's done properly and then a memorial service is held a couple of months later.
Sounds good to me.
p.s. the carbon foorprint of crematoria is massive, and the mercury emissions from people's teeth (fillings) have to be dealt with too, hence the rising costs.
If the local authority tries to recycle the heat from the crematoria they face a barage of media nonsense about 'heating classrooms from burning the dead'. FFS.
I don't mind be tipped over the side of a boat the feed the fishes.
Medical science for my body too, unless I die on a bank holiday. Apparently they can't collect then.
Cremate me quietly and scatter me somewhere pretty.
Then you may have any memorial service you wish, but if any one mentions God or life after death with my body or ashes in the room...
i shall be back to haunt you
Yes there are 'welfare burials' (community burials) that the council will arrange if there is no-one else to do it. But the council will take control of the estate if there is any (often just a few bob and some furniture) and the grave isn't marked.
>So <naive> what happens if noone left behind can afford the funeral fees then?
I've read that if you die in hospital and there's no-one else to take responsibility for it , the hospital deals with it. If not in hospital, does the council have to step in?
I'm going to have a second line funeral like they have in New Orleans.
I am a crematorium manager, and can confirm that plenty of people choose to have no funeral service. Religious services are rapidly declining in number, and secular services are becoming the norm. Locally crematorium and doctors' fees come in at approx £600. No-one is stopping anyone using a £99 cardboard coffin, or making their own.
Funeral directors can charge what they like. Locally there is a £2000+ difference between the cheapest and the dearest. The service you get doesn't vary much, though! It pays to shop around...
The number of bodies we receive from medical schools has declined almost to nothing since technological advances like the Visible Human Project.
My great aunt left her body for medical science. They took the bits they wanted and then insisted we took the rest back. They even left her pacemaker in, so we had to arrange to get that removed before we could cremate her.
My friends DHs estranged mother died, he refused to have anything to do with her remains and just walked away. He never did find out what happened to her, but it wasn't his responsibility. If the deceased had any assets, they must be used to pay. If no assets, no pauper's grave. I think hte council has to pay for disposal but will try to find family or charity (eg if homeless ex serviceman) to pay for basis cremation
So <naive> what happens if noone left behind can afford the funeral fees then?
Way2 - I'm a Biology teacher, one of my students who is planning to study medicine has said I'm not allowed to die before they do their course in case they find me in the dissecting room "because that would freak me out".
I really like the idea that I'll still be teaching when I'm dead. But I realise chances are they won't want me.
My dad wanted to leave his body to medical science
He had been in touch with the medical school, all the forms filled in but their criteria for accepting the bodies is very strict
His cancer ruled him out
Neither of my parents had a religious funeral
To have a burial you have to have purchased or be in possession of the deeds to a plot, many cemeteries are full, green burial plots sell out way in advance
There are fees for opening the grave, searching the deeds and plot etc
For cremation there are the fees for the crematorium, two doctors fees etc
Funeral directors charge for collecting the body, preparing it and of course the coffin
extras are the cars, flowers, announcements in newspapers, fees to clergy, viewings, embalming.
In my in laws case the cost of the teas and food afterwards was a small percentage of the funeral cost.
We did go down the body donation business about 5 years before my DH died (we didn't know he was going to and there was nothing wrong with him). We were declined then.
It was after he'd died (just) that I offered the bones and skin and was again declined even though we'd been on the Organ Donor Register for years. The donors don't have to be alive for those.
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