Burial Arrangements

Rewind the Week – 13 June 2014

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The two most popular posts this week were about online dating and burial arrangements. On burial, janinsanfran wrote:

”...the other day, I suggested to my partner that if she is still around, and ambulatory, I wouldn't mind having some of a cremated me...dumped off my favorite trail in Marin Headlands. I suppose that might not be legal, but I bet she could get away with it.”

Jan reminded me that I forgot to mention what I want done with my ashes - a desire that, like hers, is probably not legal but could be pulled off fairly easily: I want some of my ashes deposited in front of my Greenwich Village apartment and the rest scattered along Bleecker Street between 6th and 7th Avenues.

If I didn't have different plans, I would seriously consider this idea from Kathleen Noble:

"I like the idea of using a compostable paper urn with ashes and a small tree in it that can be buried anywhere it would grow."

Kathleen also mentioned that some prepaid burial plans can be questionable and I have read a bit about this. I've made a note to look into it further and if you don't see a post about it here in a reasonable length of time, please remind me.

I was surprised and pleased to see how many TGB readers have already taken care of burial and/or cremation needs. Congratulations, all.

Reader experience with online dating, Wednesday's post, is decidedly mixed. Mary Jamison left a detailed description and was starkly honest:

"I've tried it. I even paid for Match.com for a while (I would've been in my 50s - you decide if that qualifies.) I got a couple of nice answers, a couple of creeps, a couple of very polite Nos, but no interest, which was, honestly, painful.

“Lotsa guys out there who want an aging motorcycle mama; if that's you, check it out...

“I've done all that and then some, but no BOOMs in the life-partner category came along. It's the greatest sorrow in my life. Being blamed for it, as if I'd done something wrong - or am someone awful - makes it worse. However, having said all that, I will probably try it again. Go figure.”

doctafil, a long-term, happily married woman, recommends another way:

”Too many stories of men and women being scammed by creeps trolling online, faking a life, looking for money. Best way to meet a potential life partner, is to get out there and volunteer, take classes, get passionately involved with something you enjoy.”

Kathleen Noble has a solution for keeping at bay those creeps doctafil mentions:

”...if you try [online dating], open another email account that has no clues to your full name or location to use for your dating sites. VERY important so your inbox does not get too overwhelmed but also for safety reasons.”

Rhea Albert, who tried a dating service, suspects that age is a negative factor:

"I strongly suspect my advanced age also does not work in my favor."

Mage Bailey reported

"My friend Bee, 67, a teacher, and a painter, tried a big name dating site. At first she didn't find anyone of any value. Later she found two wonderful men and today she's talking about having one move in with her. She is exceptionally happy."

Victoria is unconvinced about online websites:

"I am looking for a good friend and the men are looking for sex. I might be wrong but there just has to be a better way to find a match to enjoy life with don't you think?"

Chuck Nyren, who is a funny man, reminded us of a story he posted about online dating 15 years ago. Titled Love in the Ether, it's worth the read.

Finally, Alan Goldsmith suggested this video of a 31-year-old who says he prefers older women. Really, really older - at least age 65. I can't wait to read what you think:

At The Elder Storytelling Place today, Chlele Gummer: A Few Early Memories


More and more people are choosing cremation and bypassing funeral home services. As a family historian, I urge everyone to remember the importance of publishing an obituary in your local newspaper, even if you are not having a funeral.

In fact, there is no reason why you cannot place a gravestone for yourself at a cemetery, even if your ashes are scattered elsewhere.

Future genealogists in your family will thank you. :-)

Considering all of the other stuff I've seen dumped on Bleeker St between 6th and 7th, a little bit of Ronnie would not be noticed.

Re the 91-year-old and the 31-year-old, I think it is creepy as hell.

Having said that, it is none of my business what they do.

Having just gone through advanced arrangments at Funeral Home with my Mom, and having had that done with my Dad, it's a huge relief. My Mom is planning to donate her body, but in case that can't happen, the funeral home is the backup plan. My Dad was a vet and was buried at a national cemetery, so that's the backup location for my Mom.

The funeral director strongly recommended against pre-paying, because if something comes up (change of heart, relocation, whatever), they are not obligated (at least in PA) to pay back any interest they've earned on the money in the mean time.

I agree with Doug and have heard of people who for years paid into a pre-paid plan and the plan owners took out bankruptcy before the person died. Or some plans had not paid for the plots or other costs before absconding with the money. The best thing to do is open a special savings account for the funeral and burial costs.

I don't know how I feel about the Kyle and older women. I think disbelief was my first reaction. Like Mary Ann, I find it creepy. if a young man flirted with me I think I would laugh in his face.

I don't find Kyle and his lady friend creepy. What I find a little creepy is that there are several!

My son knows I prefer cremation at death, and the money is set aside for him to pay for that and a small wake.

What Kyle and his friends choose is their business. Not my cup of tea, it has a strong ick factor, he's 10 years younger than my sons. maybe if it was Tom Hiddleston, nah!

I offered to donate my body for medical research but was told no go as I had my gall bladder removed 20 years ago. So that was that. Soon after - Plan B, I pre-paid for my cremation including instructions for disposal. My adminstrator has all paper work and specific instrucions.

As for the (very much) younger guy with the 91 year old woman, I think it's amazing. Many years ago when I was in my 50's a really handsome fit man who was obviously much younger was perusing me. I pointed out the age difference and he said with a matter of fact shrug I can only be as old as 36. He was younger than my son. Old fashioned notions and convention took over and I said thank you no thank you. To this day I question that decision. It most likely would have been a sensual experience for as long as it lasted. Now there are no offers what so ever and there ya go.

On another note, when she was in her early 80's, my Mother(who was quite a lively out going individual) was with a group of like aged woman, she was approached by a much younger man - she asked him how old he was and whatever age he stated she with a wave of her hand gibly said "Oh that's much to old for me!" And that's how she dealt with it.

I found the video very creepy too but can't help wondering whether my reaction, and those of others, would be any different if it showed a couple like Texas millionaire J. Howard Marshall and Anna Nicole Smith (both now dead) who were 89 and 26 when they married.

I don't want to "take a young man to raise." I would be very skeptical about the motives of a younger guy, just as I would be skeptical about the motives of an older guy. I'm not attractive anymore... and I'm not interested in doing nursing duty for some old man.

As for disposing of me after my death, I have no strong preferences. There would be little point in having a funeral since no one would come to it -- most of my remaining relatives live too far away and there are very few of them.

There have been scandals in this state (TN) recently in which funds prepaid for cremations and/or burials have been used by funeral homes or proprietors of graveyards and the bodies were either never buried or were buried in other people's graves. It's a sign of the times that I am not shocked at this happening...

The younger man/older woman video reminded me of a comment Benjamin Franklin is supposed to have made about squiring older women: "Because they are so grateful."
I wouldn't want to feel like the grateful older woman.

As for funeral arrangements, I've told my children to do what they want with my cremated remains, since I surely won't care!

Regarding burial, for years there has been a card under glass in my mother's front entrance, saying "When Naomi dies, call XXX-XXXX, Peace Cremation Service." So far, at 93, she has outlived 3 of the companies which have bought each other out!

A few years ago I paid for my cremation through the Neptune Society, saving my son (who hopefully outlives me)the cost.

Regarding online dating, I met my husband (16 years now) on a matchmaking site. He moved in about a month after we met, so I think it worked out pretty well. I was 54 at the time we married.

A while after my husband died I went on one of those dating sites and answered questions about myself. I decided right then that I wouldn't date anybody that would date me based on my profile. Wow! I thought I was a lot more interesting than that.

I'm with you, Stefani. What a blow to self esteem, but who can stay interesting forever? It's tiring. But I AM a little put off by some of the comments about the 31 year old man and the 91 year old woman being "creepy." I thought we elders were more evolved than that. In my younger days, my late 30s and 40s (which occurred in the freewheeling 70s), I routinely dated men who were 10 to 15 years younger than I and no one seemed to think it even slightly odd. I kind of went on a "man-fast" in my 50s, but after I retired, I was pursued by a tall, handsome guy in his early 40s whom I had contracted to do some work on my house. After giving it a bit of a whirl, I decided that a romance was just not worth the trouble. My daughter, now 55 and looking good but not looking especially young, is in a relationship with a 33 year old man. So really, age shouldn't matter at all when we are trying to make a love connection or even a friendly one.

I think a 60 year age gap is pretty extreme regardless of who is oldest, but there seems to me more disapproval when it is a woman who is oldest - including from other women.

What creeps me out to be honest are the botoxed, frozen faces of those (men and women) who won't admit, even to themselves, how old they are. I would rather see honest aging expressed in a face any day than some of the mummified figures who turn up on my TV screen.

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