Jud and I chose cremation, partly because it was a quicker method of "dust to dust, ashes to ashes" but also because of the price of burial. I still found out the the cost of death in this country is so much! I am so annoyed with this "funeral" or "death" business.
His "cremains" (a made-up word by the "industry" will be buried in July in South Dakota where he grew up (I will keep some to spread in his special place, "the Black Hills.") This now will involve a graveside service, a luncheon. etc. It also involves a gravestone for the family (I am not sure how much of this I will pay but I saw the price on the one they were looking at and yikes!!!). Not to mention, the renting of chairs, and on it goes. I already paid for one funeral and was shocked at all of the hidden costs. I just realized this morning that his family would not be so excited about the cardboard box that the ashes are in and i looked for boxes on the internet. The first one I saw was $375! For a dumb little box! Has anyone else felt annoyed at the incredible costs of dying in this country or do just consider it a way to honor your loved one. Frankly, I am appalled.
What awful stories! I did a cremation and a plain cardboard box for about $1,600. The funeral home messed up getting the death certificate, so my husband was not "present" (in his box) at his own memorial service -- 2 1/2 weeks after he died! When I finally got the box of ashes and the death certificates, the certificates had the wrong date, so I had to wait for that to be corrected. I was a little hysterical that maybe I had somebody else's ashes at that point, so they didn't charge me for the death certificates, which is also a ridiculous, expensive, we-got-you-where-we-want-you service they "provide."
We catered a memorial close to home, that was a couple thousand plus a little gift for the Rabbi. Then I did a beach house rental, deli dinner and boat charter, bought a pretty basket (weighted with stones) to put his ashes in the ocean where he grew up, about $3,000 in all, but my lovely family (including in-laws) kept handing me checks. After the "service" on the boat, we all went sport fishing, which was something he enjoyed.
Oh, and there is a little scoop of ashes buried in a special place in the backyard that only I know about.
What an ordeal with the funeral home! They really shouldn't be in a business where they have to deal with people who are grieving and really not in a position to keep chasing after them to get them to do things right. I was happy with the place I used (mostly luck since I just chose the one closest to me in our small town). I knew they were DH's ashes when I was parceling out a small amount to drop off the bow of a boat off the coast of Costa Rica and found a piece of threaded metal- it was the remains of my husband's dental implant! (Our dentist confirmed it.)
Your farewell to your husband sounds beautiful. My first husband (who died 13 years after we divorced) was an avid deep-sea fisherman and the family scattered his ashes in the Atlantic. I don't get to the Atlantic very much (I live in the Midwest) but I think of him every time I'm near the ocean.
In-ground burials are darned expensive and if I needed any more proof a lot of people have listed their costs here. Your conscience should be clear- if you'd anted up the cost of an in-ground burial you'd be stressing out of the loss of that much money right now. If the family wasn't willing to help you with the cost, they have no right to complain.
I had that issue with my MIL. She got mad at me because I put Lupe in a crypt instead of paying the $20,000 to buy two burial plots. She said something about her spirit was going to floating around in the air or something like that. Didn't offer to pay a cent to help out. She passed away 11 months after my wife and now my daughter owns her house. She's been slowly cleaning out her pack rat accumulation and she's found tens of thousands of dollars of cash hidden in the house. Ironic, huh?
Ignore them all. Not worth the mental energy. Feel fine about your choice, and making all the hard decisions you've had to make.
Frank had said he wanted cremation (we both did, for ourselves) and hated funerals. It cost around $1000, the funeral "home" was not really a traditional one, they did not hold services there. They just operated from churches, I guess. But when Frank's two grown kids came down (they didn't quite make it in time to say goodby) we were able to have a little quiet time alone with Frank in a small room, he was on a stretcher or something, dressed in the clothes I had picked out for him. Actually, he died at home and when I found out the funeral service would not handle an unembalmed body to put clothes on (MRSA is a big problem I guess) the hospice nurse and my friends and I prepared his body and put on the clothes I had picked out, including a sweater I had made for him that he wore a lot.
Six months later we scattered the ashes at sea, that cost around $800 but it was well worth it, everyone who came on the boat with us was glad I had arranged it. And after, I treated everyone to lunch at a pizza place. Frank would have loved it.