This is an insightful piece on the perils of shopping for caskets and funeral planning.
The New York Times‘ My Story: Coffin Shopping for Mom by Judy Bolton-Fasman puts you in her shoes as she goes and meets with “Mort, the aptly named undertaker” for her shopping expedition. She starts out:
I have recently planned my mother’s funeral with the clear-eyed precision of an accountant and the organizational skills of the activities director at the assisted-living facility where she lives. And I have done it within a budget where there are no line items for grand final wishes…
… At the moment, my 78-year-old mother knows only that her three children are prepaying her funeral. She doesn’t want to talk about the details. She is superstitious and her God is vengeful. Making any preparation for death courts a fickle fate and tempts the evil eye. After all, she once argued, I made her an accessory to my father’s death when I didn’t leave her alone until she bought a burial plot for him.
It provides insights on Jewish burial traditions as well as the high-end/low-end offerings she encountered.
I would have liked to have seen her write about going shopping for caskets at more than one funeral home though!