As I paused to shuffle through the daily snail-mail, I noticed a business-sized envelope addressed to us. Brian had opened the rest of the mail, but not this piece. It was from a cremation service.
Nothing says Thanksgiving week like a letter from a cremation service.
I started to open it.
“Oh, I didn’t open that,” Brian said, wanting nothing to do with the message inside.
I was curious. If nothing else, I wanted to see how one might begin a letter inviting the reader to cut a check for services to be rendered. And no, I didn’t mean to spin a pun. It just slid out.
The letter got right to the point with a gentle-ish presentation about making important decisions now. You know, so others don’t have to later and all. Predictable.
But then, attached we were to please find a survey. The cremation service wanted some information so as to personalize their proposal to suit our specific needs (suitable for the balance of our bank account, I take it).
Of course, it wasn’t long before they asked the clincher: What did we plan to pay for a funeral? And for our convenience, numbers were available from which we were to select the amount we have in mind, and circle it. How convenient.
Call me crazy, but I imagine they could come up with a figure that would meet our need.
And if we were so wise as to return the form for our free estimate, they would send us a free gift! Why, it is a planner to prepare for … then.
We aren’t filling out the survey. We’re passing on the free estimate that would meet our needs, and turning down the planner to prepare for … then.
I wonder how many people respond to a mailing like this. Would these be the same folks who don’t ask the price tag on a vehicle, but only the "savings" or the monthly payment? Shiver me timbers.
I wouldn’t mind making final arrangements. Well, it’s not exactly tops on my to-do list, but I have thought about what song I might like played or sung, and that in lieu of flowers, there might be a more creative idea.
Last week I wrote a piece on the NOVEL IDEA of a New Castle woman. Her husband had been an avid reader and lived out his final months in a nursing home in town.
When he passed, she asked people to bring gently used books to the funeral home instead of sending flowers. They did, and those who couldn’t make it sent money for more books and bookcases in which to hold them. That nursing home now has a library in the good man’s memory.
A close friend of ours is donating her body to Indiana University Medical School. I like that idea. I like it a lot.
Brian says he wants to be cremated. But that doesn’t mean he’s ready to fill out that survey. I suppose the day will come when we’re ready to commit. But we won’t be the ones beginning the conversation about what we expect to pay.
Kicking the bucket is not like kicking the tires. But then again, how do I really know?
What I do know is that I am thankful for being above ground, for family, and friends, and freedom to believe what I believe, to bake Blaise Doubman’s Hoosier Cream Pie later today and for a God in heaven who reigns over heaven and earth no matter the chaos around us.
And if you are reading my blog today, I am thankful for you too—more thankful than you know. Happy Thanksgiving friends.