I just wrote a check to start paying for my grandfather’s funeral. It’s a stranger feeling than I expected it to be. Full disclosure, I didn’t really think much about how I would feel about this whole scenario. It was just another item on my ‘to-do’ list until I actually wrote that check, then it became immensely more real.
He’s still alive which I think makes this such a strange situation. For all intents and purposes he’s no closer to dying today than he was last week or the week before that. But this definitely makes me feel different about the fragile nature of his life right now. I know that statement can be said about almost everyone in the world but I have spent so much time over the last few years taking care of him. He’s become a huge part of my life, a lot bigger than he was even just five years ago. This definitely reinforces his mortality and the sort of business side of things that need to go along with this all.
About a year and a half ago, before the incident that ultimately put him where he is now, he asked me to go to the funeral home near his apartment to help him put his final plans together. To be honest, that was not as strange to me as I feel right now. At that point not much else had changed in his life but he was 84 years old and he was just facing reality in my eyes. I was already in the thick of taking over a lot of his responsibilities and the people closest to me had already helped get a Will and Power of Attorney filled out for him and filed correctly. This was just another one of those responsibilities.
So on April 3rd of last year I picked up my Pop from his apartment and drove him to the corner of his block where the funeral home is located. We went in and talked to the funeral director about what it is exactly that Pop wanted. He opted pretty much exactly for what him and my mother decided on for my grand-mom when she passed away almost twenty years ago. Some of the things we had to decide on were so incredibly crazy to me. On top of whether or not to have a viewing the day before versus the morning of his burial and things like that we also had to select what type of metal lined his casket. That was one of the least crazy things we had to decide.
All-in-all we walked out with an estimate in the $12,000 range. I knew it was going to be expensive but that really caught me off guard. I feel so sorry for people who have to get that news AFTER someone passes.
I know it may be a weird thing to say but until that money was just shipped out to the funeral home, all of this was just an amorphous plan that we had in place. Nothing was really real, just some vague outline that we made almost two years ago. But things changed with his health recently and we needed to start paying some money towards this.