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Burying the Dead

Posted on 2017.02.15 at 12:38
Current Location: 67114

Not a fan of things outside my purview spiraling out of control, yet here we find ourselves once again. Dad told us kids for years and years that his funeral costs were already taken care of; he carried in his wallet a card with the particulars and often reminded us to just call the number and everything would be taken care of.

That turned out to be partially true. Let me explain.

The Dallas funeral home sold dad a casket and a plot, and threw in, for free, the chapel, the service, and everything else required to send him to final resting place. Except the part where they charge $1000 for refrigeration prior to the burial, and the, well, actually putting him in the ground - another $1000 for internment. Something they now include in their "free services" when one buys a plot and a casket, but not in the early 80s when he and mom picked out their eternal resting places side-by-side thirty years ago.

So I tried to exchange the services I wouldn't be using (chapel, service, etc) to offset the cost of the services I would requiring, but given they were "free" services they had no value. Completely frustrated with being fucked over by the funeral home, there was nothing to do but be extorted - because Texas has a law saying if a contract exists, it cannot be backed out after death. In other words if there were a less expensive option available to offset the costs of being fucked, we would be unable to utilize them.

At least we were prepared when mom followed a month later.

Or were we?

No. No, we were not. For reasons unknown, the funeral home has no record of mother having a contract, and are therefore charging us not only the $2000 for the internment and refrigeration, but also another $4000 for the casket and the plot.

I don't know how I'm going to get out of this one yet. I'm hopeful since they can't find her contract, I will not be held hostage by Texas law and can, perhaps, find a less expensive solution. I know I shouldn't be astonished at this gross ineptitude, but I really am. Restland is the premier funeral home in Dallas, and the place is run like a goddamn circus.


CeltManX, Devlin O' Coileáin
celtmanx at 2017-02-16 03:35 (UTC) (Link)
Sorry to hear about your burial troubles. I don't know if I would call them the premier funeral home in Dallas but they sure do. I think Sparkman/Hillcrest is the premier funeral home in Dallas though I have no relatives buried there I used them for my mom's funeral. Restland is one of the oldest though. My great great aunt Jennie was buried there in 1927 after she lost her head in a car accident in San Antonio. They shipped her body back by train. Strangely she has no marker but I know where she is buried. Her husband buried her there even though at the time her mom was buried at Oakland Cemetery where many prominent people in Dallas history are buried, and later her father and brother were buried. I hope to get her a marker one day. Oakland Cemetery is just south of the intersection of Malcom X and MLK. The new locals have been trying for years to get the private cemetery renamed to Malcolm X cemetery for some bizarre reason. Sorry I went off on a historical tangent but you know I tend to do that.

It was $9,000 for my mom's funeral and we already owned the plot and it was relatively no frills (no limos) except for the bagpiper and he was $150. Per her wishes she was cremated for $900 and buried with my older brother in her family's plot at Calvary Hill. I can't tell you where the other $8,100 went. It didn't even include the $800 I spent on the name marker I got a year after the funeral. It's quite a lucrative racket funeral homes have going.

Edited at 2017-02-16 03:40 am (UTC)
ehowton at 2017-02-16 16:06 (UTC) (Link)
As I'm beginning to discover :/
dawaioser at 2017-02-17 11:02 (UTC) (Link)
That's horrible! I can't believe the way you were treated and especially given the fact that two family members passed away in such close proximity, you'd have thought the funeral home would've been more understanding and sympathetic of the situation. I really don't know how you didn't go all Michael Douglas "Falling Down" on them?! Ugh. This is why I keep telling my family to have me cremated and then spread my ashes somewhere pretty such as the ocean or dig a hole in a mossy wooded area and let me be. I do not want a traditional burial. Ideally I'd prefer a Viking funeral but I hear it's illegal in most states...but what isn't I ask you?
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