National News on Cemetery Costs and Aid-in-Dying

Aug 7, 2014 | 0 comments

Today Six Feet UnderThere were two stories on national news outlets this morning, one about cemetery costs on the TODAY Show and NPR’s Morning Edition did a piece about physician aid-in-dying in Germany.

The NPR story, “When and How to Die: Germany Debates Whose Choice It Is,” focuses on a young man with MS. There are a number of things he needs help doing, and when he becomes too disabled to get out of bed, he plans to drink a cocktail of barbiturates and drift off into eternal sleep.

It’s a fuzzy legal question in Germany. There is no estimate on how many Germans are opting for euthanasia or assisted suicide to end suffering. With the country’s Nazi history and the Holocaust, it’s an especially sensitive subject. It looks like, as in the U.K., a national debate may be brewing.

Also this morning, on the TODAY Show, they did a piece about cemetery costs titled “Want a Final Resting Place? Start Saving.”

They started with video of the beautiful Green-wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, NY, saying that buying a space in some of their mausoleums can rival the cost of nearby apartments – up to six figures!

One Boston-area cemetery charges around $10,000 for a plot that can fit two people, vault, marker and opening and closing of the grave. This is in addition to funeral costs (something they didn’t mention in the story).

At the National Funeral Directors and Morticians Association convention, I had a discussion last night with an African-American funeral director from West Memphis, Arkansas about the rise in cremation he’s seeing in his community. African-Americans have lagged in embracing cremation, but with the cost difference when you don’t have to buy a cemetery plot, it’s changing rapidly.

There was young man co-hosting the show this morning, but I don’t know his name. He said though death is a reality of tomorrow, he’s not ready to look at that yet.

Dude! Reality check: It’s not morbid, and tomorrow is not guaranteed. Start a conversation TODAY, and get your plans on file NOW.

Check out the story in the video below and you’ll hear his quote at the end.

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A Good Goodbye