Tuesday, June 19, 2007
Cost of Dieing
This had been one that I'd been fighting over in my mind for the first, I don't know maybe fifteen years or so. Why the hell does it cost so much money to simply take care of our deceased love ones? Granted, a Funeral Home is a business and just like every business there are expenses linked directly to a bottom line that needs to look good in order for us to prosper. But do all of these services and extra merchandise we funeral directors try to peddle really help the family? Sadly enough, over time I've come to the conclusion that the answer is yes simply because they select them.
Not once during my career have I ever "pushed" anything on anyone. I offer the options available and then it's up to the individual(s) to select what they want. I'll answer any questions they may have regarding what a particular service is or how a particular piece of merchandise is manufactured or used or why it may or may not be needed. I try not to consider myself a salesperson because deep down that's not what I want to be. I don't want to be the guy that tells you why you should purchase this or that specific thing from me as opposed to someone else because mine is better. Yet, that's what businesses do. That's part of how they grow. There's no doubt that when a family selects a copper casket over a 20 gauge steel non-protective casket I'm happy. When the total funeral bill is paid in full I'm happy. But on the flip side when a family comes back to me and tells me how much I've helped them, I'm extremely happy, elated. But who am I happy for? Me? My family? The deceased? I'm happy for the business. The business that can now continue to keep it's doors open allowing me to help my families with their wants and needs.
I know it's expensive to finalize a life. I know it shouldn't have to be a burden on anyone to simply bury their loved one and I do my best to make sure it's not. I also know what it costs me and as I've said before I myself am a simple person; far from rich, far from becoming rich and much more common than rare. I drive a plain car, live in a modest house, my suits, white shirts, ties and shiny shoes are my uniform. So I guess the bottom line is that all of this will continue to be expensive until someone can come up with a way of living life without the need to eat or pay bills and still run a business. What truly needs to be found is a better way of doing things and that is what I am continually trying to accomplish. For the business which is ultimately for them.