Burying My Mother's Remains

My mother died on Sunday night, November 8. We had known this was likely. She would have been 98 next month.

She lived across the country from me. I must now make arrangements at a distance.

Her memory has been gone for several months. She did not recognize me earlier this year. It is not Alzheimer’s. Her memory has just stopped functioning properly over the last five years.

The elder of her church and I are now planning the arrangements. I want the following:

1. Immediate burial

2. Memorial service held at her church whenever the four families can coordinate plans

3. No graveside service

4. Simple pine casket

I want a simple pine casket. The elders at her church will try to get one. Her body will be sent to the funeral home where she has a plot. My father bought the plot two decades ago. Maybe three. This is truly what economists call a sunk cost: a past expense. It’s free.

There are companies that sell pine casket kits. These are called Orthodox Jewish pine caskets and also green caskets, depending on the market. I prefer to think of them as dirt-cheap Gentile caskets. A casket makes a statement. This is my statement. I recommend it to you.

“How much did he leave behind?” “All of it!””How much did he leave behind for the funeral home?” “Not much.”

Here are Google search results for pine casket kits.

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