Funerals in Melbourne are extremely expensive– a sign of the rising cost of living. In fact, the average cost of a funeral, including the casket and the process of embalming, is $6,600. In addition to this, cemetery services can cost up to an additional 3,000- but why? Why are do we feel it necessary to spend huge amounts of cash on funerals?
The answer is, because we are told to. Funerals homes are notorious for exploiting grieving family’s pain for profit. They tell you that your loved one would have wanted that titanium steel coffin with luxurious fur lining. They make it so the cheaper option seems like a slap in the face for the person you have lost. It common for funeral directors to lead families away from low cost funerals by telling them that this is the way to heal and grieve. But the reality, they do not care about your grief. They care about how much money you are willing to give them in order to feel like you are doing your loved one justice.
Another reason there are no affordable funerals is embalming. You hear that embalming is respectful and the ultimate way of maintaining the dignity of your loved one after they die. This is not true at all. Embalming was popularised after the death of president Lincoln when he was preserved and paraded around for a couple of months after his death. People saw this and it became a trend. However, embalming is not at all necessary for a funeral service. Refrigeration is more then enough to preserve a body. As for the argument that embalming maintains the dignity of a corpse, it is not true at all. In fact, embalming is extremely invasive and involves pumping bodies with harsh and chemicals. Another argument is that corpses are dangerous to the living and that embalming is safe if you want an open casket funeral. But again, this is false. In reality, corpses pose no threat to the living. Embalming is truly a way of steering grieving families form cheap funerals.
Affordable funerals are entirely possible. For example, the body can be cremated. Cremations average at around $3,200. Furthermore, cremation is environmentally friendly. Also, as I mentioned before, an expensive casket is not all necessary. It is not like the body will be going anywhere. The sole purpose of burying someone is to have him or her decompose. Thus, does it really make sense to purchase a ridiculously expensive casket to “protect” the body?
Lastly, you must think about whether your loves would have wanted you to spend so much after their death. This is why it is so important to make sure your desires are explicitly stated before you die. This way you will guarantee that your family will not be grieving their money as well as you.