We’ve had so many (too many) funerals in our commune since the beginning of 2017.
Some folk have things pre-organised down to the last detail… and some have decidedly NOT… (with all that entails).
So I thought I would just throw the subject into the melting pot…
I have told everybody what I want, which is to be put in a cardboard coffin and cremated. Once that is done, it is up to those who will be dealing with it - my daughters, logically - to do as they see fit. I could be tree fertiliser or a paperweight or fireworks, a bit of each, whatever they like, I shan’t be there to care.
Well done… Veronique…
Just a thought for anyone living alone…
Have you made your Mairie aware how to contact your next of kin. ???
Well, I note that nearly 200 folk have viewed this Thread, so it must be of some interest…
Following a recent Death…I would suggest all of you resident in France or just part-time …ensure the following info is easily available at your French property (or Mairie):
- Name and contact details of next of kin.
- Preferences: Cremation or burial; church blessing, Mass, neither
- Is there a Prepaid Burial Contract; If so: Contact details
After a death, things happen fast in France and if the Mairie does not know who is next of kin… and/or cannot contact next of kin… they may have to take responsibility and make arrangements for the body to be “dealt with”. If there are no obvious funds available, the Mairie will probably opt for the cheapest arrangements (fair enough as the commune will probably be footing the bill)… But the outcome may or may not be what the deceased and/or next of kin really would have wanted to happen.
Phew… what a sorrowful subject…but it does need sorting out…so pour a large glass of something delicious and put pen to paper…
We’ve also had similar talks after loosing my OH’s brother at 49, friends and a local flic our age (late 40s and early 50s). I just want to be burnt and scattered, OH will probably go to the family tombe up the road but she’s not decided yet. Can be difficult but needs to be discussed. same sentiment - I won’t be there to care but I want it to be easy for family (french and english) to accept!
Andrew, Terry and Vero… you are obviously well organised… and let’s hope nothing happens for a long, long time…
My Thread is really aimed at the loners, I suppose… a couple…well, one half normally knows what the other half wants… but the loner, that can (and often does) cause real difficulties.
Hello Vero, may I address you as Vero?
Careful of the carboard coffin idea.
My long-departed Dad used to say the same thing so I naturally went to choose the cheapest thing at the funeral parlour.
The “Director” was a bit scandalized and urged an upgrade to plywood.
He was right: in the short interval between arrival and cremation a bitter and resentful younger brother thumped his knuckles down hard on that coffin and I had visions of his fist going right through the paper version and will be forever grateful that we stumped up a few bucks more.
At a funeral one never knows.
Goodness what an, er, exciting funeral .
17 years ago yesterday, I had my father cremated in a cardboard box with the most fantastic woven ‘blanket’ of flowers, ivy and honeysuckle, roses and scabious, larkspur, stocks, delphiniums and paeonies and sea-holly and lavender and rosemary and oh all sorts draped over it.
Yes, we had the chapel organist play World War 2 songs and several mourners hummed along. It was all quite upbeat, despite a couple of unsettling eulogies.
Larkspur and Delphiniums? You clearly come from gentler genetic stock than I so perhaps my concerns were misplaced.
What’s wrong with larkspur and delphiniums? Are they notoriously wet flowers? Are they for conchies? Would Fotherington-Tomas (hullo clouds, hullo sky) like them?
As my father wasn’t in any position to give an opinion I chose what I like, was in season and available in Winchester. The whole thing looked completely beautiful. No WWII songs though, my father was born in 1942, just good old hymns and Scottish metrical psalms. Oh and The Trout as my father cast many a mean fly in the Itchen and up North.
Sounds lovely, Vero.
If I get the sort of end I want my passing will not be noticed:
To die in my bed at the age of 130 or 140 with the sound of the waves and a gentle breeze on my face; a distant alert triggered for the death drone to then fly through my window and take me out to sea, perhaps bit by bit as tasty morsels for the seagulls. A Zoroastrian Towers of Silence-type arrangement without the towers or the buzzards.
The authorities probably wouldn’t allow it so if medical science wants me it can have me.
The Towers of Silence are rather wonderful, when I worked in Bombay I lived on Malabar Hill right next to the park where they are. Here you’d need to be in the Pyrenées to get vultures.
Janice… My Aunty Dots left her body to medical science… but she was 100 before she popped her clogs…
Anyway, she was sent off to whatever hospital she had named… and we never heard another word… I like to think someone gained useful experience from investigating her ancient remains…
Possibly an archaeologist rather than a medic? (I’ll get my coat).
Thanks for all the information. If I survive my husband then I have no next of kin (well I have cousins but we don’t communicate as we are not a close family) so I will have to have the lawyer sort the whole business out as I am leaving all the monies to charity.
Nice idea… but, you have cousins, so (thinking of French Inheritance Laws) it will be best to get the inheritance sorted out properly in advance , if you do not want the money to go to them. There is a lot of info in Wills and Inheritance on the Forum…
Very helpful information this, Stella. The conseilleur at our local Credit Agricole recently had a “teach-in” over coffee and cake about funeral plans, mainly for English immigrants, and he covered a lot of this stuff. A recently widowed Anglaise detailed her own tale of woe to rub in how it’s easy to be overtaken by the eventuality of an unexpected death, and how rushed the bereaved can be into getting the body disposed of quickly. Credit Agricole Normandie seems very well set-up with a “helping hand” service that is said to spring into operation immediately to help with all the formalities, and doesn’t leave the human side to chance either. Obviously they have a financial stake in everything, but offer a range of options including a cheap no-frills no-ceremonial cremation if that’s what’s wanted’ There are two thriving florists in our town. both within spitting distance of the church which towers over the town square. I’m told the families that run the businesses do a very satisfying year-round trade, as does the local monumental mason.
Cardboard box for me, but a body-bag would suit me fine too.
Funerals are big business for the florists etc…
Sounds like CA have got theirs heads screwed on…important to have something organized… even if not with them.
Most of all… it is important that the info about next-of-kin and funeral arrangements etc… is available for whoever has to take on the task…and often this is totally unexpected…
Many of us have the important phone numbers readily by the phone…eg: pompiers, SAMU, doctor…and by simply adding the contact for next-of-kin… we can avoid a lot of grief and worry.
(Mind you, it does help if the next-of-kin has some knowledge of your affairs and what (if any) arrangements have been prepared/paid for in advance. )