Thursday, August 21, 2008

Ashes to Sand Traps

The cremated remains of the average human weigh between 6 and 8 pounds. I learned as I watched my parents meet with what you could call a "cremation counselor" at their house this morning.

My father decided that he would pre-pay for their cremations so that I and my two brothers would not have to worry about making funeral arrangements upon their demise. Unlike when my parents signed their living wills, my attendance was not mandatory but my father thought it would be good for me to be there for this, too.

The entertainment never ends.

They opted for the barest bones cremation available -- and it still cost $3,000 for the two of them! Whenever the end happens, we call a phone number and the cremation company takes it from there. The other benefit is that now that they've paid, the price can't go up. My father was satisfied that the company, part of the largest funeral home company in America, would outlast my mother and him.

My parents didn't specify what they wanted us to do with their remains. "You can dump them in that pond over there," dad said. "I don't care."

That taken care of, my dad and I went to play golf. Other than a birdie on the par-5 11th, I didn't so much as par a single hole. I'll spare you a more detailed description of the carnage. Even dad played poorly, for him, with an 86. I watched him shoot a 74 on the same course last week.

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