Filed under: Death Cartoons | Tags: cemeteries, Death Cartoons, memorial markers
Today’s Non Sequitur cartoon has another graveyard scenario. The headline: “The King of Going a Long Way for a Small Joke.”
A lone grave digger is filling in a plot. The memorial marker headstone reads, “You Complete Me.”
A news release titled “Don’t Plan to Die? A Good Goodbye is a Must-Read!” ran over the PR Web online news service yesterday. Hope you’ll check it out!
Click here to learn more about the book and buy it now at a pre-publication discount.
Filed under: Why Pre-Plan? | Tags: A Good Goodbye, funeral planning, life cycle events
Ever notice most people are hesitant to even talk about funeral planning? The thought occurred to me, we have a fear of funeral planning, because to do so, we would have to admit that this joy ride called life has an end.
We’d have to look at how we’ve lived our lives, examine how we’ve acted and review what we’ve done with our time on Earth.
We’d be forced to look at how we’ve treated others, and think about what others would say about us at our funerals.
We’d need to take stock of our achievements and contributions to humanity. Perhaps we are afraid we’ll find ourselves lacking.
There is no need to fear lack in this amazingly abundant world in which we live. We have a great capacity to love and learn, however old or young we are. It’s never too late to start learning, loving and sharing our gifts with each other.
Now is the time to make amends, ask forgiveness, and forgive those against whom we’ve held grudges. Bad feelings are heavy baggage to carry through life. And now, with airlines charging so much for taking baggage on flights, it’s time to think about how much you are being charged emotionally for the heavy weight of anger against others.
Drop the baggage of ill will you hold against others. It only weighs you down. You can fly free!
Then looking at life and how to celebrate its full span, however long or short that may be, becomes an exercise in counting one’s blessings and marveling at the impact each human being has within the circle of life.
The funeral is a life cycle event in all of our lives. Let’s live as if dying was not a distant possibility, but something that could happen any day. Live each day so that if it was the last, we can leave our mortal coil with no regrets.
Today’s Close To Home cartoon features a personalized funeral you won’t likely see in reality – but that’s what makes the world of cartoons so great!
It shows a team of four athletes carrying a casket and running a track with hurdles. The two runners in the lead are leaping over the hurdle. There are a total of three hurdles to clear before they reach the grave, where mourners are assembled, waiting for the deceased’s arrival.
One of the funeral attendees says to another, “It was his last request. He was a track star in college.”
Imagine what you could do with other sports: Football – The Final Touchdown! Soccer – Go for the Grass Goal! Baseball – The Grand Slam of Life! Tennis – Love All!
Back in the day before digital media, instant video feeds, and DVDs, people made movies with film. Little did I know when I was a communications major at the University of Maryland in 1980, that the seeds of a future career direction were being sown.
In a film production class, all the students were assigned to create a short movie called “The Bubblegum Film.” Requirements included making it three minutes long using black-and-white 8mm film, incorporating several types of shots, and of course, something to do with bubblegum. If memories of that class 30 years ago serve me correctly, many of my classmates had films with car chases in them.
But I chose to do a spoof of the Ingmar Bergman 1957 film classic, “The Seventh Seal,” focused on the scene where Death meets the Knight. My first husband Bob played Death, and our friend Eric, who was the best man at our wedding, played the Knight. We had to get up very early in the morning to catch dawn over the Chesapeake Bay on film. Eric said the water was pretty foul tasting during the tooth brushing.
Enjoy “The Bubblegum Film” and compare it with the scene from “The Seventh Seal” in these YouTube links below. BTW, I got an “A” on the project.
And the original film scene with the elements that the parody is based upon:
This Close To Home cartoon shows a woman interviewing for a job at Fleegler Caskets. The man behind the desk tells her, “And as a full-time employee, Ruth, you’re entitled to 15 percent off all caskets and embalming supplies.”
An offer you can’t refuse?
Nice work if you can get it?
Any comments to add?
Remember the news regarding The Hartford Group Life Insurance and Aetna Life Insurance offering expedited payment on life insurance claims within 48 hours and access to round-the-clock funeral planning services? How can they do that?
Both companies work with Everest Funeral Planning, an independent consumer advocate providing funeral planning and concierge services. Everest works with big group life carriers like The Hartford and Aetna and provide their services as a benefit to their group life clients. They also work with individual life carriers and service individual policies.
“The historic problem with all life insurance policies is that they require a death certificate and that takes time to get,” said Everest President and CEO Mark Duffey. “They’ll get the money eventually, but the funeral home, the cemetery, the monument marker company all want to be paid now. So the survivors end up scrambling around to family, friends, credit cards, all of the above to try to get the thing taken care of, and it can be very, very frustrating.”
The reason the insurance companies can provide a death benefit payment within 48 hours is Everest’s involvement. Rather than wait weeks or months for an official death certificate from the state, a funeral director certificate through Everest is accepted right away.
“The big announcement with Hartford and Aetna is really a game-changer in the life insurance industry,” Duffey explained. “To get rid of using the death certificate and go to a funeral director’s certificate, which is a program that we run for them and we actually recommended and put into place, we think is a big game-changer, because when people realize that one insurance policy can pay in as little as 48 hours and the other one may take 48 days, it’s pretty simple about which one I’m going to want.”
Everest is a great resource for the consumer, because they have online planning tools, reference guides, and the PriceFinder database that they constantly update over the course of the year with hundreds of thousands of calls to funeral homes. By Federal Trade Commission rules, funeral homes are required to give them the information.
In addition, Everest has three call centers with live people manning the phones 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The phone is always answered by a live person, never a recording. Duffey explained, “We don’t know if you’re calling to change an address or saying ‘I just walked in the house, my husband’s laying dead on the floor, what do I do?’ So we’ve got to be able to handle all that.”
Duffey said, “All the funeral homes in the United States know who we are, because we call them regularly to get their information. So they know that we’re not competitors, there are no fees related to us, we’re about as unbiased as you could be. At the end of the day, we want our clients, both the big insurance companies and the individuals who have the insurance, to be happy with the service that they got.”
“It’s a pretty big undertaking, no pun intended, for an insurance company to change a process that’s been around for 200 years, to go and process claims this way, but they’ve both done it and I think it’s pretty exciting,” concluded Duffey.
Filed under: Field Notes | Tags: A Good Goodbye, funeral planning, funerals
Today’s Albuquerque Journal Mature Life section has a great article titled “Books help families plan ahead for final goodbyes” by Jane Mahoney. It features yours truly and starts out:
Imagine trying to plan for a wedding in two or three days’ time – the notifications, the site, the clergy, the flowers and the reception. Sound impossible?
The logistics are really not so different from what families face when someone dies and a funeral must be arranged hastily.
“It’s just a different kind of event,” says Albuquerque author Gail Rubin. “Instead of two lives coming together, you’re saying goodbye to someone you love.”
With the mind-set of an event planner, Rubin takes a thorough, yet generally optimistic, look at the process of funeral planning in her book “A Good Goodbye: Funeral Planning for Those Who Don’t Plan to Die.” The 180-page paperback, priced at about $16, is being self-published this month by Light Tree Press. (Update – it’s looking more like 200 pages and available by mid-October, but you can still get a pre-publication discount if you purchase now.)
Links to the book are available on Rubin’s website, www.AGoodGoodbye.com, or her Family Plot Blog. (Update – the book will be available on Amazon.com and available for bookstores to order… it’s just not quite there yet.)
CLICK HERE to access the full article. Click on the What’s Inside? link on the top left, and click on the fourth headline down the list: “Books help families plan ahead for final goodbyes”