The average cost of a funeral in the US is around $9000. Let that sink in a bit, and that does not include cemetery costs. I am often amazed that we as a society allow this. Sure there are states that allow families the right to care for their loved one without a funeral director, but not every one. Just how many citizens know their rights when faced with the death of a loved one? Few of us really know our rights, and the death care industry can be very intimidating. When faced with making decisions at the point of death, many of us would rather just get the details handled and get back to grieving with those we love. What I find so disheartening is that we have allowed an industry to assume the position of authority in one of the most vulnerable and intimate times in our lives. There are other criteria to consider in making death care difficult to acquire. Let us look at the financial side of things.
Perhaps your family does not have to worry about the financial aspect of dealing with death care. Being financially secure is a wonderful thing, but what about those in our community who have little financial support? What about those who have no one? The state will step in for those with little or no means. Some people do not have anyone to claim their bodies in death. There are those, however, when the cost of burial becomes so high that families are left with the gut wrenching decision to leave the body behind. We need to look at this practice with our hearts and minds and consider how we have allow this to happen.
We need to have a gut check. Do we want a society where only the wealthy can die and have a decent burial? When did having a funeral become something we needed to “keep up with the Jones’s”? Why is that we sit by an allow this to continue? For me death care is a social justice issue. People should be allowed to care for their families in death in a decent manner, and not be in a financial bind to do so. What can we do? First, we must know our rights. We can then take the steps, by reading, researching and speaking out about what goes on in our communities in the death care industry. We could contact our representatives and let them know what we think of the present state of affairs. We can speak openly with our friends and family about what we have learned. Perhaps your faith community could start a death care ministry. Exposing the industry and the issues families face goes a long way to enacting change. Perhaps you can find a more creative way to help? Take a step, no matter how small towards a change that will matter in people's lives at one of the most vulnerable times they face..
#familyrights, #costofdyinginus, #socialjustice