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Subject:  Re: cremation Date:  5/9/2000  3:55 PM
Author:  Trini209 Number:  3870 of 20599

My aunt seemed to be dying a year or so, and I flew out to California to be with her. While waiting for her to make up her mind whether to die or not, I looked up crematory, cremation, and any other related word I could think of in the yellow pages. I found several leads, and called them all. It was amazing how they differed in price. I finally found one where I could pre-register my aunt (in case she lingered past the time I flew East), and the charge would be about $700, payable after the event. It included picking up her body, the cremation, and our choice of either (1) sending me her ashes, or (2) having her ashes scattered over the pacific from a small plane, which made the trip whenever they had accumulated the ashes of about 20 people. Scattering ashes over the land, in California, is illegal.

My aunt is still alive and kicking.

My parents died in New York, and we scattered their ashes in a field behind their home, with their favorite view of the mountains in sight.

My in-laws died a few years apart, and were cremated. we saved the ashes of my FIL until my MIL died, mingled their ashes, and planted a tree, placing their ashes under the roots.

Rules and costs vary from state to state. It's a good idea to do a little research now, instead of waiting till you're grieving and unable to make clear choices. If you deal with a funeral parlor, they must pay the crematory. If "direct cremation" is available where your parents live, tyou deal directly with the crematorium, and the costs may be lower.

There are lots of lovely, dignified ways you can say goodby to a loved one without spending a fortune. Plant a tree. Gather old friends and allow anyone there to tell a favorite story about the deceased. Ask for friends not to send flowers, but to donate to the deceased favorite charity instead. Take the money you would have spent on an expensive casket, gravestone, etc. and fund a scholarship. You'll figure out something.

I like that you're discussing this with your parents now, before they die. We could all take a lesson from this.

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