So, in my recent experience in my fathers death I learned a few things and I figured I should pass this knowledge on.
As truck drivers, we are all very strong people. We just have to be that way.
But trust me when I tell you, no matter how strong you think you are, and no matter how separated from your family you might be, you should pressure them to making a plan in the event of their death.
I've always been able to turn off emotion like a switch, and my dad and I were never really all that close. But when it came time to haul ass to Florida and handle my dads arrangements, I found that I could NOT think minute to minute.
The funeral director would say something to me, I would hear it, understand it, jot a note down...then immediately look up, and have NO IDEA what just happened.
I was like that for the entire week I was in Florida. I have no idea how I accomplished anything.
It's a hard subject, no doubt.
But this sort of thing has to be thought of in advance because you will not be able to think straight if you are the only one left to handle things. Family members that have always been emotional? They will be no help. Those you think are financially well off? They'll leave you hanging. Aunt's and uncles...your own mom or dad's siblings?
Well...if it works out...God bless ya. You have a better clan that I got. That ain't hard, believe me.
Get with your parents, make a freakin' PLAN.
My dad didn't want to be cremated, he wanted to be buried in a National Cemetery. But he left no provisions for such, and so I, with my limited funds was left to make the decision. And I've come to decide that cremation is better than burial anyway. I finally got Dad's ashes at home, and I can spread them when I want. Or never. I tell myself I'll spread them on my 14 acres and he will be with his grandkids.
What if I don't own this property forever? I may spread my dads ashes...never.
I can put him on the jumpseat and take him with me on the road for one last outlaw ride if I want.
So..while you have to respect their wishes...they're like...dead and stuff.
So I can hold that urn, and talk to my son about his grandpa. My son barely remembers his grandpa but I'm sure when I show him the pictures in the garage that I brought back and haven't sorted out yet - that are all I have - he will remember vividly the brief time they had. My son's pretty smart when he wants to be. I've heard that before too. Funny that...
I think cremation is better.
Plus, I was able to send partial ashes to my Aunt, and she can take them to Calverton National if she wants, and I'm sure some day that will happen too. I'm sure a few of us will get together and have a ceremony of some type, then go drink and fight like we're supposed to... so my dad still gets his last wish.
You can't do that if you bury someone. Cremation is certainly cheaper...and good luck finding money to transport a corpse from someplace to someplace else.
Believe me...even across county lines they get better rates than you EVER find in trucking...
Point is, you...your relatives...strong as you may be...CANNOT think straight during this time, an difficult as it may be, you have to make a plan people can follow.
Make a plan. You can even pre-pay funeral homes and churches and stuff.
"Hey mom...Happy Easter and all...but we need to really talk about something..."
That sort of thing.