No Memorial Service or Funeral for Me!

By Pregnant Teen Mom

I just redrafted my will. I think Rhode is the one who wants my Lincoln so much, and I want to make her happy.

In this draft of the Will, which I went over with Junior, other than the Lincoln, he’ll get the house in The Villages, the cat, the golf cart, the box of Depends from Costco and pretty much everything else.

This time, I put in boldface: “IN NO EVENT DO I WANT A FUNERAL OR A MEMORIAL OF ANY KIND. THIS IS A DECISION THAT I HAVE MADE UPON SERIOUS REFLECTION AND IN FULL CONSIDERATION OF MY SURVIVORS.

Now, of course, this declaration doesn’t mean anything. Upon my death—and I do plan on dying—Junior (if he is 18) will have custody of my body and he can do what he wants. If he wants a parade with a jazz band down Jeb! and Columba’s street, he can do it. But I hope he won’t. My guess is that I won’t know.

I am aware this will bug some of those I am close to. This may also bug Jeb! and Columba. That is not my intention.

I find funerals and memorial services beyond gruesome. Far from providing closure for those most closely affected, they tear open a fresh wound and provide a spectacle for those who wish to gawk.

I so regret my wife’s service. My dad had to practically hold me up. My mother had the pain of trying to explain things to my son. I am sure there were many people who wondered why I couldn’t “man up”.

I left the reception before I could enter. My mother graciously greeted guests (but she didn’t like my wife).

I would never want to put my loved ones through that! Even if they have to pretend.

Advertisements

109 thoughts on “No Memorial Service or Funeral for Me!

  1. PTM – I see your point, and I think that what you had to endure is one of the most horrible things a person can experience. But, what if you are 85 and Junior is married with children? Would you feel differently if your remaining friends and relatives had a service in remembrance of how great a guy you were? Maybe celebrated your life with some excellent booze or just a bottle of beer?

  2. I want a destination funeral. Toss my urn in an overhead bin and take me someplace warm. Maybe get a little sombrero for the urn and a little Hawaiian shirt.

  3. I so wish we could get rid of funerals. As if there aren’t enough logistics to deal with in the middle of huge grief, now you have to plan a big event, too — and everyone will have an opinion on what that “must” be.

    BUT: Can I suggest one teensy-weensy little change? “Don’t hold a funeral for me — but if you want to for yourself, have at it.”

    It makes my teeth hurt to say this, because planning my stepdad’s memorial service was absolute hell, for all of the reasons listed above. And my stepdad didn’t even want one! He hated funerals — just cremate me, dump the ashes somewhere, call it good.

    But right about the time I was entering the meltdown phase, I realized that having the service and getting it all “right” was *hugely* important to my mom. She needed all of their friends from the past 30 years to come and tell stories about how great he was, and see the kids that he had raised to adulthood, and basically having their entire village there to validate him and their life together. And putting my own grief aside to help her make that happen was the best gift I could have given her, before or since.

    That experience changed my approach completely. I saw that it really was about her, not him. But the thing that made it so hard was that everything had to be Just So — no funeral home, pick a perfect date when people can come, do it in the backyard, borrow tents (because they’re free! who cares if it takes a full day and 8 people to put them up and take them down!), hire a caterer, plan a menu of his favorite foods, make memorial collages, choose just the right music, plan when we speak, when we eat, who does what — ARGH. It was awesome — a really fitting memorial, very personal, absolutely reflected him.

    But, my God, what a burden. It gave me a new-found respect for religious traditions, where you don’t have to think at all about what you *should* do; you just go on autopilot and execute the steps your faith demands, and people come and hug you and bring you food.

    So, as much as I hate funeral homes and funerals and the generic cheesy Murph and the Magictones-ness of it all, I do understand that some people really need that memorial. So I am now telling my kids that if they feel that way, to just turn me over to someone else and let them handle it all. Don’t kill yourself to throw a special, perfectly-individualized party I can’t even attend. Hell, don’t even have a funeral if you don’t want — but if you do, make it the easiest thing possible on you.

  4. When my brother died my parents had him buried in the family cemetery , something southern families do. I identified the body, arranged the cremation, an brought his ashes home.I dug the grave myself, selected the gravestone, along with the wording and was the executor of the estate but I didn’t go to the service . I have now spent years watching my parents will themselves to death. I do not do funerals as they are not helpful to me but some must find them so, otherwise we wouldn’t have the funeral industry we have. Much of what we know about the past come from the dug up graves of our ancestors. PTM do what you must , death out of order is painful , it lasts a lifetime . When my brother died someone told me happiness is father dies, son dies , grandson dies, anything else is a lifetime of pain.

  5. I just want to say that I think the funeral for a grandparent who has lived a full life and died at an old age is a very different experience than a funeral for a very young person, and esp if it was completely unexpected (car crash, etc)

  6. Still Sad, thanks for sharing that painful perspective. So sad for you.
    I’ve been to two funerals in the past week. One was a “celebration” planned by the deceased when he didn’t actually think he was going to die. When he did, his family felt compelled to go through with it even though believe me, no one felt like celebrating. The second was a young mom of 3 teenagers who died either of cirrhosis or anorexia – it was all very unclear, and the service was sort of a celebration of how much she liked bright colors and college football. I’m not sure either actually helped the family involved.
    And yet, until I read PTM’s post, it hadn’t really occurred to me that one could chuck the whole thing and just not do it at all.

  7. Have you guys thought about where you want to be buried (or have your ashes stored)? DH and I planned this already, even though we will hopefully not have to go there anytime soon. I feel better knowing that the place and manner is already sorted out, so in case we both die suddenly our kids will know what to do.

  8. I agree with PTM. Maybe an Irish wake for me. Gather my friends and family, and raise a glass.

    “where is PTM? He’s been MIA since the Trump rally.” Let the conspiracy theories begin. Is it more likely that PTM was abducted by aliens, or she/he has joined the Trump campaign leadership and is too busy ordering campaign hats to hang out with us?

    Either way, we still love you! Come back, PTM!!!

  9. PTM,
    I read your post to say you missed your wife and loved her deeply. When my dad died, I took comfort in knowing that he would not have to bury me. He and my mom lost a daughter as a child. I have asked to be buried in the back yard without adversely affecting the drainage of the sump pump.

  10. “And yet, until I read PTM’s post, it hadn’t really occurred to me that one could chuck the whole thing and just not do it at all.”

    Same here.

  11. My dad did not want anything funeral related, no big write up in the paper, etc. My mom needed something. The compromise was after he was cremated, my mom, my partner, our two kids and I went to the cemetary, and the Navy color guard did their small ceremony where they presented my mom the flag, then we placed him in the niche and it was done.

    My takeaway is to make known what you want, but realize that those close to you may need something at that time that is different from your wishes. I think giving them permission to say goodbye the way they need to is important. Next re-wtrite, that is my plan.

  12. I have a service next week for a former colleague (elderly) – hope I will be recovered enough from my surgery to go! Rhode, what was your recovery like? (You can email me! :))

    My first grandparent to die had a funeral; the rest had a memorial service a few months afterwards, so plenty of time for people to plan a trip if they wanted to. No wakes (my dad’s parents weren’t THAT Catholic, and Episcopalians don’t do that sort of thing). I expect my siblings and I would do the same kind of tasteful memorial service if my parents died.

    The worst are services for young people. Terrible, awful, no good, very bad.

    I would probably have some kind of hackathon/gathering if DH died unexpectedly, but definitely nothing in a church. Don’t know what he would do if I died first – personally I would love a requiem-ish concert with all my favorite anthems and a super-loud version of St Clement with the descant that I like, but definitely no sermon or other extraneous stuff. ;)

  13. ssk – no, we haven’t discussed. I would like to be donated to Science, that way there is no urn around to clutter up the house. :)

  14. I completely agree with Winemama. I think a memorial service for someone in their 80’s/90’s can be a time to share stories and come together. When my FIL died (he was 80), DH appreciated getting to hear stories about his dad from his dad’s siblings that he’d never heard before. And when my mother died, I was glad to have the chance to come together with my siblings and other family members for a small memorial. My mom was only in her 60s but she’d had cancer for some time so her death was not a surprise.

  15. I’ve been to several funerals over the past few years. I am not sure which was worse, the one for high school classmate that was sparsely attended and the minister showed up late, or the one with three coffins, and not enough shrouds in the church. Still, all were important for the people left behind.

    I know where I want to be buried, and have told my kids. My feelings on the funeral itself are kind of like my feelings about being kept on life support….at that point, I’m not going to much care, so do whatever those left behind need is ok.

  16. “death out of order is painful”

    Indeed. When the oldest generation dies, it may be unexpected, sad, even traumatic for some, but it is the just circle of life (IMHO). And the survivors do move on.

    When a younger generation person dies*, it’s rarely of “natural causes”, right? So people really don’t think or say “He lived a long and happy life.”

    *unless that person is already ~75+

  17. I almost forgot, at least in Texas, you can do a preplanned and prepaid funeral. You get what you want, because you already signed the contract, well as long as your family cannot contest the sound mind portion of your competency.

    I’ve been to a number of memorial services for older (80s and 90s) folks, which seem to be the led a long, full life and here are some great stories type of events. Have only been to one for a very young, not yet a teen. It was a tragic accident and hard for everyone there, but I think the family needed to know they had their personal community’s support.

  18. Timely topic, my ex father-in-law unexpectedly passed last Friday. I was willing to fly out with the kids for the funeral this Friday but they decided they didn’t want to miss school and that they would remember him in their own way. Their father needs to stay longer to help with his mother, who can’t live alone. Same day my grandmother suffered a massive stroke and now is in hospice not expected to regain consciousness. She has outlived all her friends and her generation of family so my mom and her brothers have decided no funeral when the time comes. I did think this morning about how all of her children survived her and that is not always the case when you live until your 98, so some solace there. And more sadly and tragicly, two of my daughter’s classmates were killed in a car accident early Sunday morning when a third classmate fell asleep at the wheel – very sad week at my house.

  19. I actually took great comfort from the services for my parents. My folks were part of a religious tradition that has very specific ways of remembering and burying the dead, so arranging the services wasn’t that hard — the house of worship took care of pretty much everything. I just had to figuring out where to have lunch afterwards. It was very touching to see the people who came out to remember them. Seeing the people who came to the funerals also gave me some insights into parts of my parents’ lives that I didn’t really participate in (e.g. work colleagues of my father, friends my mother made after I left home, etc.)

    I haven’t really thought about my own wishes, other than that I want to donate my body to one of the local medical schools. I like the idea of my last task on this earth being to help smart young people become doctors. Also, that way, my family won’t have to pay for my cremation. I think I would leave it up to my kids (and DH, if he’s still alive) to decide what, if any, kind of service they would want to hold for me. I’ll be dead, so it the service or lack thereof won’t matter to me, but I want them to feel that they can do whatever they need to do (even if that is nothing).

  20. “you can do a preplanned and prepaid funeral.”

    That’s an option here as well, one that makes it a lot easier on the survivors. I need to look into that for DW and me.

  21. “I actually took great comfort from the services for my parents.”

    Yes, when my mom died, the service helped me accept her it.

    Having some of my friends fly in for the services was also extremely gratifying.

  22. Prepaid?

    Then put me down for the full mob funeral with extra flower cars! Ah yes, sir. The Corleone Package:

  23. I’ve mentioned here recently that funerals bring my family together more than anything else, even weddings. IMO, getting something positive out of an otherwise sad situation makes it worth having the services.

  24. In my religion we don’t bury people. in India, they’re eaten by vultures so here we cremate and put the ashes out to sea. I did go to a funeral and a memorial in the last year, both for older friends. I like the idea of a Memorial, basically we all got together at a Chinese restaurant and different people from different parts of my friend’s life got to meet each other. That’s nice.

    This somehow feels wrong and I’m not hijacking the post but I’m here so rarely I feel like I need to share with y’all- I got promoted to Senior Manager last week. And with the increased money I’m finally going to buy a new car.

  25. I like LFB’s sentiment – do what YOU need to do. I certainly would want that for my husband & son, or god forbid – for my parents – if something were to happen. But I don’t much care – I will not know the difference.

    I have been extremely lucky to this point in my life where as I approach 40, I have only buried my grandparents – and some of those in adulthood. My grandma was most recent, and she was 95. Her memorial meant a lot to me as we were close, and it was really nice to be able to help my mom & her sisters mourn and to be able to trade stories & memories with my brothers and cousins. It was also good for my son to get to say goodbye. It was intentionally not a large gathering (and my grandma would’ve hated too much attention), but all the people who mattered were there. My great aunt had a very joyful wake planned that was extremely fitting to her life..

  26. My family is big on wakes and funerals. Since I was a toddler I had been going to them. When I was in elementary school a friend of mine died, so going to the wake didn’t seem that emotional to me. I recall the mother of my friend hugging me so tight and not letting me go, still trying to remember the feel of her daughter’s hugs. Very few children went to the wake (their parents went instead). Afterwards I thought about that exchange and realized that this grieving mother needed the support of family and friends. Prior to that, I thought funerals were a time to get together with distant friends and family and share happy stories with no sense that the remaining loved ones were suffering.

  27. Ivy: I don’t know! I’ve never gone car shopping before so I’m nervous about making the wrong decision. I currently have a 2004 corolla and i want something just as small so I’m leaning towards a Lexus IS 250. Anyone here drive one and have thoughts on maintenance?

  28. Also note that while the MSRP is $40,995 the average price paid is over $5000 less at $35,791.

  29. My grandmother donated her body to science and had planned out with her pastor what she wanted for a memorial service – who to speak (me!), hymns to sing, etc. We held that service a few days after her death in the large retirement community where she had lived so that all her friends could join us. Before she died, somewhat unexpectedly even though she was old, we had been planning a family reunion-type event that was scheduled for a few weeks later, so we told the family that they should not worry about making it to the service but keep their plans to attend the reunion. We set aside some time for everyone to share stories about my grandmother, and then we took turns selecting paintings (she had become a prolific artist in her last ~10 years) and jewelry (but not the good stuff – another crafting interest she had developed). It was actually pretty fun.

    On the other hand, my MIL had said she did not want a funeral but rather a celebration of her life to be scheduled in the spring when her beloved plants were in bloom and the boat could be taken out to scatter her ashes in the bay. They still had some sort of church service right after she died, but I was not able to go because of travel plans with my family. Of course, I assumed I would be there for the important celebration a few months later, but then H & I separated and I was not invited. I am still very sad that he did not recognize that I loved her too, and I hate that I did not get to spend time with the family members who came from all over the country to be there.

    Funerals, memorial services, celebrations of life, whatever – these are for the living, not the dead. It feels good to be comforted by others who loved the person you lost. If someone left behind specific instructions, it also feels good to honor their wishes, even if that means not holding a funeral. The most important thing is to discuss it in advance so that family members all have the same expectations.

  30. Rhett: I just went on their website and their hybrid is cheaper and my company gives me $3000 if i buy one. What do you think?

  31. Lemon, what a sad story.

    The raw grief at a young person’s funeral is so different from the sad but fond reminiscence at the funeral of someone who lived a long life and died in season.

  32. “PS… where is PTM? He’s been MIA since the Trump rally.”

    I’m here, Rhett. Sorry for being gone so long. My computer literally blew up the day following the Trump Rally. I have had an impossible time getting it back. Now, at least, it’s working sporadically.
    At the same time, Junior upgraded to Windows 10 and since then hasn’t been able to get on to the internet.

    So I was surprised to see this printed today, and I am eager to see what you all have to say. Obviously this is my attempt at more controversial more cutting edge topics.

    Anyway, I’ll read the responses as soon as I pick up Junior, and I’ll be back to comment.

    And yes. I know I owe you all a report from the Rally.

  33. Lemon – that line about hugging hit me like a baseball bat. It is all too easy for me to imagine.

    I have been fortunate (and come from a small, not close, family), to have been to very few funerals. Haven’t thought much about this.

  34. LAGirl,

    Do you mean the CT hybrid? You’d have to test drive them both. I don’t think the reviews of the CT have been very good.

  35. “ I think giving them permission to say goodbye the way they need to is important. “

    Agreed.

    I have also failed to “man up” when loved ones have died, basically holing myself up and avoiding well-wishers who sought to comfort me. I hope people can be sympathetic and not judge how a family decides to handle it.

    Recent family funerals (too many) have been what we have come to call “forced family reunions”. We cried, we laughed, etc. They’ve been important occasions for me, and I think also for the widows/widower and children.

  36. The last two events I’ve been to have been for my MIL and SIL. Neither were religious, so there was just a gathering of family and friends at one relative’s house who has about 5 acres and room for everyone. The person tasked with my MIL’s ashes 2.5 years ago hasn’t disposed of them yet, so they are now in my garage. She wanted to be distributed in the Gulf of Mexico. We are taking a cruise for our 25th anniversary next month, so looks like MIL is coming along. My parents have pre-paid their cremation and arranged spots at a veteran’s cemetery. My husband would definitely feel like PTM, but what I would actually do is not something I want to think about.

    LAGirl, we got an IS350 earlier this year and love it. It is so much more solid and quiet than our other vehicles. It is a delightful bubble in the middle of traffic. I love it.

  37. Coincidentally, I was chatting with my 87-year old neighbor today and she told me that she still remembers the distressing 3-day funeral when her mother died at a young age. So she and her husband do NOT want a wake or other ceremony. They want to be cremated. Their very religious daughter does not like her parents’’ choice.

    Congrats, LAG! It sounds as if it was unexpected.

  38. Congratulations on the promotion, LA Girl. My biggest concern about hybrids is battery life- will the batteries need to be replaced at 100,000 miles and if so, do you care?

    My mom had a funeral in the church with open casket. I realized that may be one of the only times by kids attend a traditional funeral. Baby WCE smiled and napped under the church’s grand piano for the entertainment of the people waiting in the receiving line, spelled by the other two baby cousins. My parents decided to be buried in my Dad’s family’s plot in rural Iowa and my Dad decided to have my Mom’s body to simplify the logistics in July. (I was reminded of the Oklahoma! song “Poor Judd is Dead”, specifically the line “But it’s summer and we’re runnin’ out o’ ice.”)

    I’ve attended a few family funerals in the last few years and I realize I value the family gathering. I told Mr. WCE that I want to attend funerals for all my Midwest aunts and uncles when reasonably possible. (It means last minute plane tickets and arrangements.)

    When my baby who died was born, they asked what we wanted done with her body after the autopsy. We didn’t want to have a funeral and it turned out the default option was cremation at the hospital crematorium so we went with that. I appreciated the fact that we were given the choice and how compassionate the nurses were. She was born at a teaching hospital and they would have done a less invasive autopsy, I think, if we had wanted to have a funeral. I don’t mind a pathologist using my baby to practice his/her autopsy skills, but I don’t need the image in my mind afterward.

  39. lagirl – congrats!!! great news. My advice as someone that just upgraded to an entry level “luxury” sedan is to test drive until you find the one that you like, and feel comfortable driving. I was surprised at how cheap the interiors seemed on some of the entry level Lexus, Acura and Infiniti models. I was looking for a small sedan too because my garage is very narrow. The cost of gas is so much higher in CA than the rest of the country, so a hybrid might make sense. Enjoy this time to really go look, and test drive several brands.

    OT – the most recent experience I had was with my friend’s father in NYC. I wrote about it in another post when I discussed the value of his rent controlled apt. The three kids didn’t have a funeral because they weren’t close to him, AND his will asked to be cremated instead of buried with his family in Brooklyn. My local mom friends kept emailing me to see if there was a shiva, place they could donate in his name. Several were very uncomfortable with the idea of no funeral, shiva or donation. They are used to the shiva/wake circuit and they just couldn’t believe that three kids would have no service.. It really made sense for the kids, and it was their father’s request so I’m glad they honored it. I didn’t even tell them he asked to be cremated because so many Jews of that generation are beyond horrified by that idea due to the Holocaust.
    The funeral home in NYC told the family that some “very” reformed Jews are starting to use cremation, but it is still very uncommon for Jews in the US.

  40. on the topic of cremation, a realtor friend sometimes has to deal with foreclosures, one of these properties had cremated remains left behind in an urn. I don’t recall what he did.

  41. I never thought I was big on funerals until my relatives started to die. Now I see the importance. When my mother passed away suddenly, her memorial service was overflowing with people who had come from all over. That meant so much. When my FIL passed away, as a decorated veteran, he was buried with a military honor guard and the folder flag was given to my MIL. Following that tradition meant an enormous amount to her. We waited 4 months to have my father’s memorial service, and had a fair amout of conflict planning it with his second wife, but still… it was amazing to see all his science colleagues from all over as well as bizarre relatives who we rarely saw. So I have changed my tune. Funerals, traditional or not, are for the survivors and it isn’t fair to take that away from them.

  42. A friend’s younger sister died a few years ago – she was very pregnant, and I had a tiny baby – we both had flights with criticism from strangers from traveling.

    The sister had many medical problems, as well as significant developmental disability, and it was not unexpected that she would die in her twenties. A very large crowd turned out for the service – she was a regular at her church, the YMCA, and had a warm, memorable personality. Her father spoke at the service – even though he had not financially or physically cared for her most of her life. He tearfully reflected on how terrible it was when he found out that she “had no brain” and how he took her to many specialists to do something and no one could help. He went on and on about how terrible it was for him. It was all quite bizarre and awkward.

    There was a lovely gathering afterwards at the mother’s home. For me, it was a fond farewell, and not tinged with tragedy – she had a full life, much more than anyone expected of her. I suspect her mother sees it differently.

  43. Oh! I have muddled the story with terrible grammer. A friend’s sister died. My friend was pregnant, and I had a tiny baby…..

  44. Is an Acura TSX too big? Very fun to drive!

    The TSX was based on the European Honda Accord and is no longer in production. The replacement is the ILX, which is based on the Honda Civic. However, the ILX hasn’t been as well received as the old TSX.

  45. PTM – I am with you 1000 per cent. I hate funerals. I am old enough and widely read enough to understand the ritual need for the community to mourn and gather, and the fact that for some people it aids the grieving process, but I want none of it.

    My 3 year old daughter had a large funeral after a long illness 36 years ago. We all behaved well, but mostly were relieved to have the immediate ordeal over with. I remember more strongly the behavior of people during her illness – those who supported and loved us, and those who avoided us as if their families might be infected by an event from which we were supposed to be insulated by SES, education or faith-bargain. In the years not long after her death, several other children died in various sub-communities of which we considered ourselves members, and parks were named for them or public memorials erected, so I got even more jaded about the communal nature of grief – even the innocent child of quirky people like us was judged less worthy of note.

    When my Mom died, I was so relieved to be an only child so that I could avoid a formal mourning ritual. She outlived all her 10 sibs but one, who was too ill to travel, and had no friends up here where she moved for her final years. The kids were scattered all over the country, so we said we would gather a few months later for laying the gravestone and a collation at my house, which we had complete with photo albums and reminiscences. (My daughters took turns coming for a few days to help me with details right after her passing.) However, my scattered first cousins, who knew my Mom better than they knew me, were incensed at the plan and wanted an immediate conference call. I said, you arrange, I’ll participate. It clearly made them feel better, and I realized how special my Mom was as the maverick auntie who saw them as individuals, although it brought home to me how hard it was being the daughter who never measured up rather than the special niece in need of encouragement.

    My husband wants to be buried in a coffin in his family plot, but I have to make all the advance arrangements so that this will happen someday – he hasn’t paid the maintenance fees in twenty some years, so I have to call and find out how to make that right. I did find the deed in his dusty moving boxes. It is so so difficult because of my feelings about death rituals and my real worry about his health to be required to take care of this extremely personal matter, but he manages almost no details of his life in any area, and I freely signed on for this when I married him. I’ll ship his body to New York, his son will come down and we’ll invite any cousins still alive to a small service and meal coinciding with the internment, and have a memorial service with performances by his friends a few weeks later back home.

    As for me, I know I want my ashes to be buried in the same plot with my child and my mother. What else my kids do is their business. I won’t be there to control it.

  46. Thanks! It was unexpected since I was told at my review in August that it wasn’t going to happen anytime soon. But I’ve worked on some high profile events lately (that I wish I could tell you about!) and upper management has been happy with my work.

    I’m struggling with the cost of a new car. I’ve driven the same car for ten years and I’ve never had any car payments. So the idea of going from Zero to potentially $400 a month is a big mental wraparound for me right now. I’ve wanted the Lexus IS for years but I look at the cost and I look at the cost of the current Corolla and I struggle.

  47. Funerals, traditional or not, are for the survivors and it isn’t fair to take that away from them.

    I agree. When my mom died, we had a traditional funeral immediately after in SC, where she was living at the time, and it was realy nice to see how many friends she had made there. Then we did a “celebration of life” a couple of months later in NJ where she had lived her whole life prior to retiring, so all the family and friends could attend. It was great to hear all the stories people told about her, things that I had nenver known.

  48. LAGirl,

    Then even with the extra $400/month in car payments you’d be ahead of where you were pre-promotion.

  49. Rhett: Actually no….I don’t make That much. I’m anticipating around $400 a month extra actually so the bump would cover the car payment. The increase in gas/insurance I would cover on my own. I did also raise the roommate rent this past year but that’s because I had a lot of unexpected expenses. I guess it’s just a whole new world for me!

  50. LA girl, congrats. Call your insurance agent about the increased cost, you might be pleasantly surprised. I traded in a 12 year old Highlander for a new Camry Hybrid and my insurance went up all of $13 a year. I was shocked. I think it is all the collision avoidance/safety equipment

  51. LAGirl,

    What’s going to happen to that $5k/year if you don’t get the Lexus? If you’re going to spend it on something amazing (I assume you’re already saving enough) then go with that amazing thing. If it’s just going to get pissed away on nothing then I’d say get the Lexus, at least you’ll have something to show for it.

  52. Rhett: Savings. I’m working on my emergency fund right now as I’ve had to dip into it a few times this year.

  53. LAGirl,

    Maybe see if you can get another year out of the Corolla? That seems like the most sensible option.

  54. Rhett: That was my original plan! I’m going to the Olympics next year so the plan was to buy a car after. But the promotion kinda had my family convince me to get a new one – my current car has 155000 miles on it but is in decent shape.

  55. Congratulations, LA Girl. I personally think you should wait and get a new Lincoln Continental when they come out. On the assumption that you are younger than me, however, I can see how you might want something less grand. You don’t want to announce “I’ve arrived” when you’re still moving up. (Or half dead when you’re fully alive. Whatever.)

    I’ve read through today’s responses. Thanks. This was my first effort to be more controversial or cutting edge in my posts and C of C and I were unsure of how this would be received.

    Some of you make good points but I believe what I wrote as strongly as ever. Yeah, my wife’s service was a memorable day for me, but for all the wrong reasons. It provided absolutely zero closure. Instead, I felt forced to express my grief– my private grief for my wife and my son– in public where deliberately or not people got to judge me. No thanks. When I die, I don’t want to put Junior or anyone I may love through that.

    And yes, I will always be grateful for the efforts my parents made on my behalf. But that they had to do almost everything for me, so I felt like I didn’t fulfill my duties. I still do.

    I recognize that many people came. But can you imagine how much I wanted at that time to see my sisters and their entourages both large and small (the adjectives apply equally well to both my sisters and their entourages)? I didn’t. I’d rather they had come at a less tumultuous time. Of course, they wouldn’t have and haven’t.

    As I said in my post, I recognize that I will have no say in this whatsoever. When I die, Junior will have custody of my body and he can legally do what he wants. I confess, I like the idea of that Corleone funeral– I can just see those Caddies parading down Jeb! and Colomba’s street en route to my burial in Little Havana.

    But even that much fun wouldn’t be worth the pain it might cause to my loved ones.

  56. PTM, I totally get where you are coming from. Your wife’s funeral sounds so difficult. I find funerals usually helpful. Stories, laughter. I think it is important from a community aspect for everyone to stop and acknowledge this passing together. While it is difficult to plan, I also think that having something to do gets you up and through the first week – the jews bury quick then you have to sit shiva. As a family member I have enjoyed hearing the stories that I never knew about people close to me. We recently lost a friend at 47 (cancer) which was devastating but his memorial was amazing. So much laughter so many tears. A great chance for everyone to come together. It was draining but I think we all felt better afterwards. I would like to be cremated and scattered someplace outdoors and beautiful with my husband (one of us will have to wait) – so I can be a part of things always! If I knew I was going to die, I would have my own funeral because whenever I go to one, I think “oh how they would love to be a part of this and see these people and share these memories.” Probably poor form but that’s my plan.

    BAM – sorry for your losses
    LAGirl – you go girl! Did you lose that terrible roommate?

  57. Moxiemom- I can’t even remember which one I told you about. This one I’ve had for four months and her bf stays Fri-Mon every single weekend even though it’s in her lease that she can’t have visitors for more than 2 nights a week. I had to text her this am to remind her the walls are really thing. super awkward. Her lease is up NYE

    Has anyone here ever rented a room where overnight visitors are restricted? I’m thinking of restricting the next one to one night a week

  58. Off topic to WCE, and anyone else with a kid who is both in elementary school math class and doing Khan Academy on his own: do you limit how far ahead your kid can go?

    DD is in second grade and I made her start at the kindergarten level to stretch it out longer because she is supposed to be doing a certain number of minutes of any math activity per night. She has been spending an hour or so most week nights on it because she is hooked on the badge system, and is almost finished with second grade math.

    Our school does not differentiate math instruction (I.e., no grouping) until sixth grade, if that matters.

  59. Ptm, your story just shows that everyone grieves differently. You don’t know what junior is going to want when you die. So leave it up to him.

  60. Sky, my first grade twin who likes Khan Academy is working on third grade stuff. My kids slow down their grade progress on their own when they hit the point where they have to watch videos and learn how to solve new types of problems. He has spent between ~10-20 hours on Khan Academy in total. Since school started, most weeks have been zero and two or three weeks have been around 60 minutes. My other twin doesn’t like Khan Academy as much and hasn’t gotten to a challenging level. DS1 hasn’t done Khan Academy since school started but is working a grade level or two ahead.

    I’m not sure if we get differentiated math even in middle school. DS1 (third grade) is starting it this year in theory but it’s still not where he is on Khan. We can afford math at the community college (which goes through differential equations) when they’re in high school if needed and if necessary, we’d afford linear/abstract algebra at the university, if that’s their thing so I’m not too worried for the long-term. Middle school math might involve homeschooling like Murphy. I wish SoFl Mom were here…

  61. You don’t know what junior is going to want when you die.

    A meticulously maintained, mint condition, 2017 Lincoln Continental?

  62. Sky, would your kids like Set (card game) as a math activity? Our kids started liking it around kindergarten. 24 (where you use a deck of cards and make 24 with the numbers on 4 cards using addition, subtraction, multiplication or division) is also fun.

    I sure as heck wouldn’t do 30 min/night with a child who is already a couple grade levels ahead. Have them sweep the floor or fold the laundry or something useful…

  63. Sky – What WCE said: My kids slow down their grade progress on their own when they hit the point where they have to watch videos and learn how to solve new types of problems.

    One of mine is on 4th grade math, the other 3rd. Both slowed down significantly when school started and when they had to start watching the videos. Both are now starting the coding lessons Khan offers.

  64. WCE, I am a little worried about what will happen if the kids are working a few years above grade level and the school wants more single digit addition mad minutes. Did you have to do an IEP to get DS1 advanced?

  65. LAGirl – why not set aside half of the monthly pay increase (congrats) into a specially designated Lexus fund? Then just take some time to make up your mind. When you are ready to make a decision on the new car, you’ll have that fund to “buy down” the monthly payment.

    On funerals:

    http://www.theonion.com/article/funeral-looks-cheap-1714

    I once performed a burial at sea of someone’s ashes. Up on the bridge, the lay leader read some Scripture, a torpedoman fired three rounds from an M-16, we wished the departed well, and we left the punctured bag of ashes up there as we submerged.

    His family got a certificate that I signed detailing what took place, the weather and sea state, and the exact location where his ashes were spread.

  66. Sky – have you talked with the teacher? We have a good one who coves the basic lesson but then allows the more advanced kids to do more complex work related to the lesson (or free time to catch up on other work or read).

  67. Sky, the third grade teacher is a bright person who is sympathetic to advanced learners and chooses to offer advanced math. Some other teachers are less sympathetic to advanced learners. Our school district doesn’t have any goals/requirements around meeting the needs of advanced learners until high school, when AP is offered. The state requires TAG classification but there is no funding or programming, so the classification isn’t terribly meaningful.

    I’ve only seen two advanced computerized math packets this year and saw fewer than 6 last year so I’m not holding my breath on whether the packets will ever catch up with DS1. Each packet requires 15-30 min to complete but the software advances people very slowly so he hasn’t ever gotten into his zone of proximal development in math at school.

    Thus my decision to support Khan at home, which is not teacher-dependent.

  68. On the advice of people here, I just started my first grader on Khan. She loves it (and is very badge motivated). At the level she reads (very much at grade level), just parsing the problems is good reading practice.

    I expect her to move above grade level. This school year, where they are really doing much more intense math, she has started to “hate” math. She hates that they are doing the same concept over and over again, she doesn’t like the tedium of the worksheets to emphasize concepts she already understands. This week she is learning what numbers add up to eight. (Yesterday, we were talking in the car about minutes/mile, and she was able to generate that at 20mph, it’s 3 minutes per mile). She gets excited when she can figure that stuff out.

    I won’t say that I don’t care about how well she does is math. However, that is not my motivation – I care deeply that she is enthusiastic about math. My take is that she is going to be bored in class, but it is better for her to retain the idea that math is fun. I imagine your kids will be bored in class whether you keep them at grade level or not.

  69. Congrats LAgirl! Weren’t we just recently discussing what car you might consider to replace your Corolla? How prescient.

    “Maybe see if you can get another year out of the Corolla? That seems like the most sensible option.”

    And perhaps also the most totebaggy, given that one of our collective virtues seems to be delaying gratification.

    My 2 cents: enjoy the shopping process. Test drive a bunch of cars, ask all your friends for their advice (I don’t know many people who have no car advice to give), and read up on the cars you like.

    If you can identify more than one car that you really like, that gives you a lot more leverage in negotiating a good price.

  70. DD used to go a lot of Khan in 3rd and 4th grades. She loved the badges, and she did work ahead in 4th grade. I didn’t think it was a big deal, and she eventually slowed down because the school added IXL to her math book homework. She has so much math homework now in 6th grade that she just uses Khan if she needs additional help. This is the first year with differentiation in math, and there is a lot more work because the class moves quickly through the material.

  71. PTM, I’m with DD on this. I can understand your reasoning, but it may or may not apply to Jr. My suggestion is you discuss this with him when he’s ready, but give him permission to what will best get him through the loss of his dad.

  72. Ever since I attended my grandmother’s funeral at age seven, I have been put off the entire event. Large traditional funerals with tons of flowers, mouners, food after, greeting people turn me off. I must remember to speak to my parents about this, because they have so many family & friends who will expect something to be done and I don’t want to do this. I really believe in doing my best for the people close to me while they are living and that is why I don’t feel the need to mourn. I don’t want to buried but to be cremated and my ashes scattered not kept in an urn that someone has to dispose off. In my extended family there is so much politics about who gets to be buried where, whose names are on the gravestones etc. I just want to be left out of it all. I want it to be said “She is not dead, she is with God”.

  73. OT, LAgirl’s post raised another possibility I’ve never considered, but I don’t think it’s a good option for me now, since we don’t have vultures here.

    If DW and I were to move later to be close to our kids, e.g., to CA, I could reconsider. However, I’m thinking that depending on my medical condition just before dying, it might not be that great for the vultures, e.g., if I’d just finished a course of chemo.

  74. “So she and her husband do NOT want a wake or other ceremony. They want to be cremated.”

    In this and a few other posts, I got the impression that some people might consider cremation and a funeral to be mutually exclusive.

    A lot of services here are held over ashes.

    One practical advantage to this, as alluded to by WCE’s Broadyway muscial reference, is that cremation obviates that reason for urgency, and allows the service to be held at a convenient time. E.g., if emotions are too raw in the immediate aftermath, perhaps having the services a couple of months later, at a time that works better for family and friends, might be better.

  75. LA girl –
    I just checked truecar.com for a Lexus IS250. They showed $4200 below list at the dealer in/near West LA (90024 zip is what I entered). So when someone above mentioned $5k off, that seems doable.
    Good Luck!

  76. I am vehemently opposed to open caskets, and go nowhere near them. When my husband’s (then-fiance) dad died, he grabbed my hand and we left when they started filing by the casket, muttering “that’s not my dad.” So this “trend” I saw recently of people being staged at their own memorial services completely creeped me out. I saw another picture in this same vein just last week. Seems like an incredibly creepy thing to do to your survivors. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/22/us/its-not-the-living-dead-just-a-funeral-with-flair.html?_r=0

  77. Rhett- are you picturing a beach chair, artfully arranged sand, cocktail in hand? Or a hotel room scene, posed with your laptop?

  78. Question re. cremated remains: Are you allowed to just bury or scatter them wherever you want? Or are there regulations about how and where the remains can be disposed of?

  79. In my community we only do cremations. People come.to pay their respects and no invitation is needed. There are a ton of after death rituals to be performed and I have not really given mine a ton of thought. Since in our community people come to pay respect anyhow without any invitation for wake, there is no formal process in place that you have the option of doing or not. It just happens organically.

    I will surely donate my body to science and whatever remains will be cremated and ashes scattered in the wild.

    Congratulations lag.

  80. My understanding is that for my religion (Catholic) you are not supposed to keep your loved one’s ashes in your home or scatter them. You are to put them in a niche at the cemetery or columbarium. I guess it is the equivalent of being buried in a Catholic cemetery.

    Otherwise I would just imagine that you could scatter them at a favorite place – the beach, the park or the ocean – probably with some type of permit/fee officially, or just done on your own unofficially.

  81. With my great MIL it was a mini scandal when her son decided to cremate rather than bury her. The process is to register for a grave at a preferred cemetary years in advance but he did not do it and the alternative was to bury her in a run down cemetary, so he chose to cremate her. Now her ashes are with him and he wants to pass on the responsibilty at some point but the other family members don’t want to be the keepers of her ashes. Basically he was in denial that his mother would pass away although she was 90+ and had just recovered from a health issue.
    He probably has to do what ssk mentions – buy a niche in a cemetary and place the ashes there.

  82. In most places, it is not technically legal to scatter ashes wherever you choose. However, unless it is on private property (not yours) or in an overused or publicly venerated spot, no one bothers you. My friends snuck into a corner of “the Country Club” and scattered their father’s ashes on one of the greens. That was because he loved golf and was not of the correct ethnicity to join. That was trespassing and probably littering or destruction of property. My aunt’s ashes were scattered at some public place in Marin County overlooking the Pacific, but they had to do it at sunrise to be sure to be alone. My mom’s ashes were placed in an urn and buried by cemetery staff in the regular gravesite of of my child. We then ordered a new headstone. I request to have my ashes placed there with no change to the marker, but after all that will be up to my kids.

    During the scattering, it is important to pay attention to the wind direction.

  83. PTM – I completely understand your point of view here. I wonder though if this might cause more strife to Junior rather than less? If he’s a religious/spiritual person (high chance of this, perhaps, since you two attend services weekly and appear to be quite involved in your congregation) then he may feel *better* holding a funeral/service of some sort. But he will know that doing so is against your wishes. So, he holds a funeral because it comforts him, and then feels guilty for ignoring the wishes of the incredibly devoted father who raised him, or he abides by your wishes and doesn’t get the comfort he feels he needs.

    Of course, if he’s against funerals as much as you are, there’s no dilemma at all. But how he feels (or says he feels) now may be quite different than how he feels later. The day you die will be the day he knows for sure how he feels, I’m guessing. I would want to leave room for him to be able to act on the feelings he has that day, and not to have to struggle with the internal debate of seeking the comfort he would like vs obeying your wishes.

    Either way, I always think it’s a great idea for people to have these conversations rather than not.

    My personal plan, of which my kids are aware: donate all the organs; donate my body to the medical school in town, who will be interested in the fake joints done (and revised) so early in life; scatter/bury the ashes at the cottage unless by chance they like the idea of having me on the mantel or some bookshelf.

    LAGirl – congrats on the promotion! I like Milo’s dedicated fund idea while you decide, and while you wait to see if you find a new roommate after NYE (perhaps that’s a given but if not, you wouldn’t want a car payment at the same time you’re not collecting rent).

  84. @LAGirl: Totally totebag advice here, ignore at will: my rule since day 1 has been that I am allowed to spend only half of any raises and bonuses. The first priority is to be able to cover the cost of a safe and reasonably satisfying lifestyle without going into debt; until you get there, that’s where all your money goes. Then your second priority is to get to the point where you don’t feel so squeezed all the time in achieving priority 1. That’s where you are now, and you have just been handed a significant opportunity to make progress towards that goal — so congrats! So the Laura rule would say that you can currently afford to increase your monthly car costs by $200/mo. Which puts me firmly in the Milo camp: save all $400 now to build a car savings account, take your time and explore the options and enjoy the process, and then buy a new car when you find one you like and your savings is sufficient to bring the total extra costs to $200/mo.

    The fundamental problem is that we humans are crap at predicting our future wants. Maybe 5 years from now you’ll be desperate to ditch the roommate; that’s a lot easier to do if you have slack in your budget. Or maybe the new car will get totaled in LA traffic and your insurance only covers 2/3 the value of a new one; again, easier to handle with some room to spare in the budget and savings (true story from my dumb-ass brother, who, excited to get a new job, bought himself a new luxury car that cost 50% more than mine, totaled it within the year, and replaced it with an even more expensive big-ass truck. All on credit, of course. He and his wife ultimately opened a side business nights/weekends to pay down their debt). You would not believe the number of people DH works with who make $75-100K/year and who are still living paycheck to paycheck — every cent of that check is committed before it’s even earned. There was one week in ABQ that there was a mechanical glitch getting the paychecks to the site, and there were people making $70K/yr lined up outside his door, desperate, because they couldn’t wait two or three days for the $$ (the most common phrase: “truck payment”). Don’t be that guy.

    Side benefit is that you don’t get used to living on your full salary, which means that while you are growing your savings, you are also decreasing the amount of savings you will need to cover your living expenses in retirement, which means that when you’re my age, you will be in a position to retire early if you want (or kick the corporate gig for something else, or just take massive vacations, or whatever).

  85. LfB +1 – My dad’s one rock solid piece of advice – “Always bank at least 25% of every raise/bonus. If your emergency fund or retirement fund isn’t where is should be, put more there before you incorporate the raise into your standard of living.” His point was, if you were OK with your standard of living before the raise/bonus, then ease up slowly because when life happens and it always does, it is harder to lower your expenses.

  86. No ashes in our house, ever. My daughter and I clan be a little klutzy. She is in the Lucille Ball category. I am confident that were we to keep an urn, it would somehow be knocked over while she’s in the middle of doing something else, there would be a catastrophe while she’s cleaning up, and the next thing you know there’s a little bit of Gram in the bread dough. No thank you. My MIL’s ashes are currently in a box in the garage.

    I looked into the rules around scattering ashes locally. No rules govern scattering them on the beach. You are not supposed to scatter them in the water within three miles of the coast. After that, no regs. While researching, I came across great stories of what people had done. One lady parsed her husband’s ashes in small bags to family and friends, who took the ashes on trips they were taking and took pics of the great sites where they spread the ashes. Another guy ran out on a MLB field at the end of a game to scatter the ashes of his baseball fanatic mom. He got arrested, but said it was totally worth it.

    PTM, I was kind of hoping you’d do the human taxidermy idea with your Lincoln as the prop. Park it on Jeb!’s street and let friends drive by and honk to pay their respects.

  87. My MIL’s ashes are currently in a box in the garage.

    A old co-worker had her fathers ashes rolling around in a box in the trunk of her car for years.

  88. Lemon – funny.

    PTM – oooh, I like MBT’s idea. You could be perpetually holding a Coors in one hand and a smoke in the other. Junior could clink beer cans with you every evening. Still no funeral.

  89. I really, really like MBT’s idea, too! Unfortunately, there is no parking on Jeb!’s street.

    Ris– if I raise him right, Junior would be clinking beer cans with me in the morning. Hopefully on his way to school.

  90. When possible, if you have a funeral for someone who has led a respectable life, someone who knows the person should eulogize the one who has died/passed.

Comments are closed.