How will I die: The high cost of death

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  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    March 2, 2012 7:48 a.m.

    More and more cremation makes sense. It takes up less space and by the time the resurection occurs, there won't be enought of you left to reconstitute anyway, so what's the big deal.

    I told my wife to rent a big auger, dig the hole with it and drop me in feet first.

  • awsomeron1 Oahu, HI
    March 2, 2012 2:04 a.m.

    I had my Dad Cremated and when he came to us in the Mail, I put the Box on the book shelf just below my Christus Statue. I was going to go to my Moms Services and put it in her Casket, as I had an Awful Childhood after the Divorce and I just felt that having them togeather again would help my healing process.

    When my Mom died, (and I could almost hear the glee in her voice when I called and told her my Dad Died as she had more or less fled for her life and was always scared he would find her) I received a phone call from her sister about her death and in the moment I was thinking of who I was going to get to run my phone room, her sister said I did not need to come. So I talked it over with my wife and decided Not to go. Last I heard for any member of her side of the family and the call about her Death was the first I heard from any member of her family. So that option being out I was stuck, so I took him from Vegas, to Or. for 6 years then to Hawaii for what has been 11 years. He is still on a shelf and I still have the Christus.

    He lived on his SSI and had nothing dieing in Hospice at 94. I went to Tucson with the wife and was there the night he died. So he was warm, safe and dry, in Bed, Just like King David except there was No Young Women.

    Having Left Nothing of Value I was depending on his last SSI Check to cover Costs, However the Hospice Reported his Death and they and the Government took the money from his Account before I could find his card and pin number.

    He had a few bills and I wrote on the Bills Clyde Died and sent them back. I got a couple of phone calls but I made my money direct marketing so you know what I did with those.

    It is against the Law to force kin to pay the bills of dead parent, or parents dead kids. I know that passing on Debt is going to be tired but it needs to fail and badly. In this matter the Circle is not only broken but never was. This is Not China. Do you know how my people use their kids names to get stuff and then do not pay. Putting the Newspaper in the Kids name is the most common thing.

  • jrgl CEDAR CITY, UT
    March 1, 2012 1:57 p.m.

    Thank you for this series of articles on subjects none of us would prefer to plan for or speak of. I hit all these issues head on with my spouse. Illness, Hospice, Death, funeral. He was too young for Medicare, so we weren't shielded from costs or felt they were "free". Our insurance plan was more restrictive than I ever imagined leaving us in a sea of debt. I appreciate Mike Leavitt's comments here. Cost! I'd sure like to have them listed for all to see, like on a fast food menu. Instead it's difficult to ascertain costs of medical & burial expenses & my husband & I reasoned that it's just too expensive to get sick or die. Due to cost, he chose cremation, which caused a great stir and anger in our LDS family, although our kind Relief Society President said it is ok, as she learned from a Handbook (I hope this is in a handbook). It was a financial reality for us. I have my plans in place after going through trial & error (& many mistakes) with my mate.

  • Jim Mesa, Az
    March 1, 2012 8:13 a.m.

    Death and Taxes, two things in life that we all try to avoid. I heard about a man who once said he wanted to know the exact time and place that he was going to die, so that he wouldn't be there at that time.

  • MyChildrensKeeper Taylorsville, UT
    March 1, 2012 4:22 a.m.

    Death is not expensive, its all the high dollar scams and fraud associated with it by the medical profession and health care and funeral and insurance companies. People have a right to exclude monetary claims against an estate as fraudulent and health care costs are not the responsibility of family or the estate of the deceased. There are times when preserving life is the wrong choice, but the doctor gods won't hear of it, they lose money for every person that dies in their trust.

    Most of the time when people are held against their will by health care facilities it is the front-runner of fraudulent care to steal an estate, especially of single or divorced individuals. This new state law making relatives responsible for debts of deceased or patients health care services is unconstitutional and criminal. Theft of estates is why this law is being passed and considered in to law.

    The elderly know when they have done all they can for their descended family's and when they are more a burden than a help and have the right to choose where, when, and how they die. Eskimo's call it meeting their bear, a recycling plan of their sacrifice and shortage of ice cemetery's or sea burials.

    If people want pine boxes don't go to a funeral home, call a cabinet shop to make one. I tell my kids to bury me in the desert in a used wood crate like a burial at sea only in the desert. Recycle yourself death plans with a nautical claim marker submitted to the BLM or dept of statistics for future reference.

  • SmileFamily Salt Lake City, UT
    March 1, 2012 1:05 a.m.

    This is another fascinating, thoughtful, and helpful series by one of the West's BEST writers. My family followed the protocols Lois talks about when my parents died in 2006 -- planning in advance, talking about what Mom and Dad expected, filling out living wills, etc. -- and the process was made MUCH easier because of that proactive work. Mom and Dad had prepaid and planned for their funerals, and they had a folder marked "Funerals" in their file cabinet, which we used as a template when they both passed away to honor their wishes and make the decisions they wanted us to make. Lois talks about many of these ideas with GREAT clarity in her series; hooray to her for addressing these issues so positively and proactively. My parents' preparation made dealing with their deaths much easier than it otherwise would have been. They were wise, thoughtful, and effective in how they lived their lives and they approached death the same way. In all things they left a wonderful legacy to follow.

  • awsomeron1 Oahu, HI
    March 1, 2012 1:02 a.m.

    End of life decision making.

    Depends on who is making it. The Movie Solvent Green, which takes place in 2022 covers the subject nicely.

    Death means very different things to different people, some of those people are in the same family and in some cases you have to die by their belief system or your going to a bad place.

    Death is also convaluted by Religion, different peoples Religion say different things. In some things have tto be done a certain way, or you again go to an awful place.

    We never think about our own Death much if we are young, evan if we do war for a living. Some young families do not have the added insurence that the Government offers at a low price.

    Death is a Business and an industry and provides for a great deal of jobs. It is also spendy and a lot of prople just can't afford to die. Which does not stop Death. Just makes the Tax Payer Pay for it.

    In some cases it cost you everything you have on Earth to Die.

    Do to Cost I am being Cremated. My Dad was Cremated and has a spot at the end of my hall way, we bring him out and set him at the table for special family dinners.

    My mom had her arrangements made and paid for and her sister handled things. My stepmother is buried in Salt Lake City because my Half Brother talked his girlfriends parents into putting up the $20,000 in costs. I told him to cremate her but he could not stand the idea. Also he had her shipped from Seattle where she lived and had friends to SLC. 5 People where at the service.

    My wife wants ot go back to the Family Plot in Show-Low Az but I am not shipping from Hawaii, I just haven't told her so.

    So it up to who is left after you die, what happens to you.

  • AnonSMF Sacramento, CA
    Feb. 29, 2012 10:22 p.m.

    I think this series of articles has given me a lot to think about. I think definitely now I will be considering some advance planning. I'm in my early 40's and in reasonably good health. But there may come a time when someone needs to make arrangements for me. Between these articles and what happened when my father died I can see that pre-planning and talking to your family is a great thing to do.

  • ulvegaard Medical Lake, Washington
    Feb. 29, 2012 9:28 p.m.

    To Yankdees27

    We looked into a "pine box" for my father - at his request. They cost more! They have nice aluminum ones that are very attractive and quite reasonably priced.

  • tll Ogden, UT
    Feb. 29, 2012 7:10 p.m.

    Traditionally my family has done cremations; this is what I have always expected for myself but I cannot convince my husband that this is the right way for me. There is nothing cultural attached to this decision other than a desire to NOT support the overly-expensive funeral system. Its ridiculous and unnecessary and creates a financial burden during a stressful time.

  • yankees27 Heber, Utah
    Feb. 29, 2012 3:56 p.m.

    Honestly, is there a bigger waste of money than a casket? I mean these gold and silver adorned shiny things. Now, if it made the afterlife better, or something like that I could see the cost, but really wouldn't a pine box made out of about $100 worth of material do the same thing. I actually have it in my legal documents to bury me in the cheapest thing legal. A flannel blanket will do just fine. My family could take the 3K and go to Disneyland to celebrate my life.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    Feb. 29, 2012 1:56 p.m.

    This whole series of articles has been interesting. But it brings to mind the fact that it talking about just the same thing that Conservative extremists found so horrible about Obama care.

    End of life decision making.

    Wasn't that supposed to be something terrible?