Forget about expensive funerals

2019-11-13 06:01
Advocate Kuni Ditira Social Observer

Advocate Kuni Ditira Social Observer

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We must rethink the custom of expensive funerals.

These days it is not strange to pay an undertaker more than R200 000 for a funeral. The cost excludes the food served during the week and on the day of the funeral.

People go to great lengths to make loans to pay for funerals that they cannot afford. The bigger the funeral the more people to spend money on.

The higher the social position of the deceased, the more complex and expensive the funeral rite. Is it really necessary?

Is it necessary to go to the graveyard? What are we doing there? Some of us stay in our cars or congregate in groups talking. Do we need to sing at a graveyard?

We can hire people to cover the grave.

Some funeral undertakers already offer this service.

It will be cheaper to go to church or a hall and have the funeral service. After that, the undertaker could take the corpse to the cemetery.

Then people can have tea, biscuits and thereafter disperse. The long programmes with lots of speakers is not necessary. If the programme is short, then there will be no need to serve people a meal.

However, we are afraid that people will talk about us. We are too proud. Is it pride which makes us spend a lot of money on funerals? Sometimes it is money that we do not have and have to borrow.

We even buy new clothes for the funeral.

There is a difference between a wedding and a funeral. Our conduct must show this.

I plead to people, cut your suit by the size of your cloth! If you only have R3 000 from a funeral policy, please only use that.

I had white colleagues who will tell you that they only paid for the funeral what the policy paid.

They cede (surrender) the policy to the funeral undertaker who will claim the money from the insurance. That is all the money that will be used. The church congregation may provide some tea and snacks and that is it.

We copy these traditions of white weddings. Why don’t we copy the traditions of white funerals?

I have a living will stating what should be done at my funeral. However, my family have already told me that I will be dead, and they will do what they want.

Unfortunately, for them, I have made it a condition for the inheritance of my estate. If my wishes are not obeyed, then my estate will go to charity.

I just wish I could change our people’s perception.

Some of the people who go and loan money for funerals are not even credit worthy and end up borrowing money from societies that charge exorbitant interests.


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