I have an 86 year old dad who I keep trying to talk to about his funeral arrangements. We buried my 78 year old mom four years ago and it cost him nearly 8,000. And I remember at the funeral when I was reading my eulogy I was told to “hurry up” or we’d be charged extra by the funeral home burying her for runner overtime. My comments took less than 10 minutes, though others spoke about my mom, a popular high school teacher. And I felt cheated that I couldn’t read a eulogy I’d spent time and time composing and that was my final goodbye, public and private for my mother. And it truly was creepy to have these strangers, paid or not, standing next to my mother’s coffin. In fact, at one point they were closing the coffin before I removed my mother’s rosary. What use was she going to have of it in the ground. Plus the embalming job made my mother feel like a piece of wood. I have heard that embalming is not required in La., though it seems everything else is. I’d like to get a monk’s coffin for my dad. Really, I’d rather bury him in one of those green baskets I’ve seen. (I think the boxes are a little too nothing unless you’re cremating and he doesn’ want cremation) But it makes no sense to put what amounts to the downpayment and consistency of a small car into the ground. We’re not preserving people. I so liked the film “A Family Undertaking” that had the dead waked at home and let people see them and say goodbye over a few days. I also, as much as I love my dad, don’t see the reason to throw away money to stuff and mount him and show him off in something that’s going to rust in the ground. With strangers handling him… Yes there might be some need to have, in some very old vaults, specially sized coffins. but are you telling me that those sizes can’t be given to families so they can get appropriatesly sized coffins? They only way any change can happen is if people here are allowed to have choice and those options are clearly stated BY FUNERAL HOMES before any commitments are made. No, Ms. Jones, your father does not have to be embalmed (there are some special circumstances that may have to do with communicable diseases possibly,but nothing else I know of), but we’ll have to bury him in three days or less. Yes you may prepare the body before we pick it up. No you do not have to buy the coffin from us and these are the standard dimensions of coffins we sell. You can measure your family member’s body and have a coffin made to fit the body. There might be some issue if your family member is extremely heavy or exceptionally tall or both. But we have recommendations for those eventualities if you need them. I also bristle at the extra charge for funeral, burials on Saturdays or Sundays. If I break my leg on a weekend and end up at the hospital, I still get charged the same fee if I end up in surgery. But after you’re dead you’re an inconvenience. Weekends are when most people are available, especially out of town relatives, to come to funerals. It’s when children are out of school and when most people won’t miss work. This is an unethical charge. I am so distressed that my choices for my dad’s last ride are so limited in this state and so costly. He has made no formal plans and hasn’t talked with my brother and I about it. Which could also lead to difficulty. It’s disheartening, to say the least.