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Thread: Need some advise burying a parent

  1. #1
    Suspended Andy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Chicago IL

    Need some advise burying a parent

    My father died last night. He was getting on in years, and had previous heart issues over the last decade, but this last one apparently was all that his heart could take. Very sudden and out of nowhere, he probably didnt know it hit him from what I gather.

    Anyway, this is my first time dealing with something like this and maybe some of you guys could give me some tips. My dad wanted to be cremated, and knowing how we both are, most likely not too interested in making a big production out of it.

    Any pointers on what direction to take with this? The hospital gave me some printouts for the Cremation Society, I still need to read that stuff though. Not sure if I should do that or a funeral home?

    I basically feel really lost right now and never cried so much. Trying to get my dad taken care of at this point and try to take things step by step. Maybe you guys can help me out with what to do now?


  2. #2
    Sorry for your loss Andy.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Timaru's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Hampshire, England.
    I'm so sorry Andy.

  4. #4
    I am sorry to hear about your father Andy. It is always a shock. You are very normal to not be sure where to turn at the moment.

    I went through this recently. Unfortunately, my mother never let us know her wishes and did not have a will, so it made things more challenging for us. We did cremation, but after donating her body to science/medicine. Then the cremation is done 2 years later.

    The easiest way to start is by calling a nearby Funeral Home. They can lead you through things. They will let you decide if you want a burial (with cost of equipment that entails) or cremation, or sometimes donation followed by cremation. If you want a service, they will assist you. If you want an announcement in a newspaper, they will set it up.

    Most importantly, the funeral home will obtain the copies of the death certificate. I don't know why they are involved in this, but so it is. You will need many of these to assist with all of the legal/financial issues after your father's passing, particularly if you will be the one managing his estate. I recommend getting at least 8-10. More if he had complicated finances. You will essentially need one for every bank account, retirement entity, to change a house title etc... We got 20 just to be safe (they were fairly inexpensive) and this was too many for us.

    The funeral home for us also contacted Social Security to alert them of the death. This is important to stop the Social Security payments, and to obtain the small death benefit. Keep an eye on the Social Security deposits, as this is usually screwed up.

    Funeral Homes are not cheap. I feel that there is a bit of "taking advantage" of families when they are distracted, upset and confused. If you knew for sure that you wanted to do cremation, I see no problem with calling the number for the cremation organization. I suspect they will be quite helpful in some of these above steps.

    If he had a lawyer, call the lawyer.
    If he didn't have a will or a lawyer, time to ask nearby friends/family for the name of a lawyer to call over the next week to help you settle his estate.

    Later, you can think about contacting all of the credit cards, bank accounts, insurance companies, retirement plans etc... Also canceling all appointments on the calendar. These can be done over the next few weeks.

    I'm sorry that you have to deal with these issues now. I hope there are more family and friends around to help you.

  5. #5
    I am so sorry this happened, Andy. The counsel hlh gives is sound. My family went through a funeral home because my parents did not wish to be cremated; it was quite expensive, but the home did do a lot of the paperwork that the mind is not prepared to deal with initially. The funeral home will also collate information from family members for an obituary to be published in the local newspaper, if that is something you'd like to do. I would not have hesitated to contact the cremation society, if that had been my parents' wish. You are wise to take this one step at a time and to seek help, as there will be so much to think about - precisely at a time when you are least prepared to do so.

    Again, my heartfelt condolences on your loss, Andy.

  6. #6
    andy, i am so saddened to learn of your father's passing. you two saw each other so often. the loss to you has to be for his desire to be cremated, if you are able, see to honoring his sated request. as he did not want a fuss made, a small and intimate memorial service would be in keeping with who and how he was. if you want or need to talk, shoot me a pm and i wil call. i am not home and will not be until sometime in december, but can call you from here. sending many hugs.
    Last edited by LaMemChose; 11-11-2011 at 11:37 AM. Reason: tpos made on crazily tiny keypad using knuckle

  7. #7
    I'm very sorry for your loss. My dad died four years ago. It's still so hard today.

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    last house on the left
    Andy, I am so very sorry for your loss. I had my mom cremated. She also wanted no fuss and was not particularly religious, so I simply had her cremated with no ceremony, and then picked her ashes. I dispersed them in a place I knew she loved greatly, and I know she would have liked the place I picked. Some friends and I said a few words, scattered some roses, and then scattered her ashes. Again, my deepest sympathies.

  9. #9
    I'm sorry to hear your news Andy. Even if your dad had been sick, it still is a shock.
    I echo what the others say about going through a funeral home.
    Do you know anyone in the area that could reccomend one that they have worked with? They can arrange the cremation if that is what you decide to do.
    If he was not religious some funeral homes can arrange things for a small memorial that is not as formal as an actual funeral. You can chose some of his favorite music if you like.

  10. #10
    Senior Member fromnwmont's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Northwest Montana
    Andy sorry to hear about your loss, i went thru this a couple years ago with my father what really helped me was to start a file, inside i kept all the paper work (there will be lots) on the first page i made a list of everything i needed to take care along with all the important telephone numbers, web addresses etc. and where i could check each item off once completed.. There are so many emotions happening having a file kept me on task which really helped knowing i was not forgetting something or someone... if your dad was a veteran there are burial benefits $$ available not much but it all helps.. We did not spend money on a fancy urn my son made a wooden box which they put him in...

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