Grieving alone

“Cremation has been completed.  A family gathering will be held on the east coast at a later date.  In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to local Loveland groups supporting the arts and those in need.  Go to for on-line condolences.”

grieving alone
In Loving Memory – Marie Renner     1928-2017

My wonderful, loving, beautiful, sweet, caring, creative, friend Marie passed away on July 8th at the age of 89.  I read her obituary in the local paper a week later but was left with only sorrow at knowing I could not celebrate her life with her family and friends here locally.  She was a resident of Loveland for the past 27 years and was very involved in the community.

We were in a garden club, a book club and the New Friendships Club together.  She was like a mom to me; always offering encouragement and advice over a cup of tea and a homemade treat. Marie taught my daughter how to crochet and when my daughter got dressed up for her high school proms, she went over to Marie’s house with her date to share those special moments with her.

As some of you know, I lost another friend in May of this year who was cremated and did not have an obituary.  I found out about his death through Facebook Messenger about three weeks after his death.  I missed his memorial service.

An ad in the newspaper below Marie’s obituary offers ObitMessenger, “FREE obituary e-mail alerts for specific people, towns & more.”  Is that what we have come to?  I guess I’m “old school” about the passing of people near and dear to me.  I want an obituary announcing a traditional memorial service or celebration of life.  I need to be with others where the sharing of stories and shoulders to cry on help with the grieving process.

I’d like to know your feelings.  Please leave me your comments.

Obituaries are important – should you write your own?


In Loving Memory

Fredrick Dean Howard

October 10, 1957 – May 12, 2017

What do I do with this tremendous sense of loss?  Last week, I learned through a Facebook message from a “non-friend” that Fred, a good friend and former significant other, was killed in a terrible motorcycle accident on May 12th not far from my home. The local paper reported the accident but did not name the rider and no follow-up story was done. The “non-friend” sent me the message on May 18th but it didn’t show up in my Facebook Messenger folder until June 8th.  I am grateful to her for trying to contact me and we have since spoken.

Read moreObituaries are important – should you write your own?

Funeral costs can “take a bite out of your estate”

funeral costs

Seven ways to cut the cost of a funeral

by Bob Niedt for

July 5, 2016

“In addition to the emotional toll, dying can take a heavy financial toll on the living. The median cost of a funeral runs about $8,500, according to the latest figures from the National Funeral Directors Association, including embalming, viewing, a hearse, a metal casket, a vault and some other related services. The price tag, 29.3% higher than it was a decade earlier, could come as a shock to grieving heirs and take a bite out of your estate.

There are two important points to keep in mind about the $8,500 figure. First, it doesn’t take into account some common cemetery expenses such as a burial site, marker, paid obituary and flowers. Second, it’s the median, or middle, price; some funerals can cost upward of $25,000.

Prepaying for your own funeral is one way to spare your survivors the hassle and expense, but generally speaking Kiplinger recommends thinking twice about prepayment because there are better ways to set aside cash for a funeral. A smarter approach might be to focus on reducing funeral costs. Here are seven ways to save.”  Read more

Funeral planning for one last party

Occasionally, some of my lady friends (most over the age of 65) and I meet at the corner of the street in our quiet little neighborhood.  One day this summer, I was telling Flora and Lee about working on my will and funeral arrangements.  I shared with them that I thought funeral planning should be done with friends, kind of like the old Tupperware parties, with door prizes and snacks to make it more enjoyable.  We discussed cremation vs. burial and how I wanted my family to have a party to celebrate my life when I died.  Then Lee told me she had an interesting article she wanted me to read which discussed that very idea.  Here it is:

Image result for funeral images

Planning for one last party

by Valerie McCullough for the Loveland Reporter-Herald

August 4, 2016

“How does one go about planning their own funeral?

That’s my question.

I’m perfectly healthy now, but when I read the obits of people decades younger than me, I realize it’s time to sketch some plans.

The actuarial table tells me I will live nine more years. I don’t know how they come up with these figures. I can’t imagine I have so many years left.

Besides in nine more years my mind may be too addled to plan anything.

On the other hand, another two years would be nice, so I can tear up the terrible cellphone contract I just signed

But if I live too long, the warranties on my two knee replacements will expire before I do.

So there’s no perfect time to die. But, trust me, it’ll happen. To all of us.

Our four daughters find my funeral planning ghoulish, but I know it will be easier on everyone to have plans in place ahead of time.”  Read more

According to the Funeral and Memorial Information Council, “In 2015, 69 percent of adults over the age of 40 indicated they would prefer to pre-arrange their own service; however, only 17 percent had made arrangements.”

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