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article imageOp-Ed: ‘Dying too expensive for poor’ — UK report

By Paul Wallis     Jan 23, 2014 in World
Sydney - The cost of dying went up 7.1 percent in the UK last year. The cost of funerals is expected to affect 100,000 people in the coming year, according to researchers from the University of Bath.
Belfast Telegraph UK:
The average cost of a funeral in fact rose by 80% between 2004 and 2013 and the costs of dying are expected to continue to increase over the next five years.
On average, the price of a typical funeral, including non-discretionary fees and a burial or cremation, is £3,456.
Discretionary fees add another £2000 or so. The new state of bliss for the poor is called “funeral poverty.”
How to monetize your death — For someone else.
Dying is big business, and has been for some time.
In Australia, a rash of funeral insurance advertisements is rattling cheerfully around on TV. There are apparently lots of happily insured people smiling for the cameras at the great deals they get from their insurers. You’d swear they simply couldn’t wait.
The general theory that you could achieve the same thing by going out and buying a bag of potting mix and stuffing yourself into a cardboard box is rarely mentioned in the industry. After all, if people are so frivolous as to die, why take them seriously?
Fortunately, technology, both old and new, has now come to the rescue:
Composting yourself — This highly productive and nutritious way of dying cuts out the middleman. All you need to do is slowly insert yourself into the veggie patch, and eat heartily as you rot down.
Dying by instalments — Why wait? If you start now, you can die at your own convenience, carefully scheduling your modular demise to meet your own needs. Bits may drop off here or there, but it will all be according to your schedule. Again, there’s no need for middlemen.
Mass-producing yourself – This very economic, (if labour intensive), approach allows you and thousands of your other selves to work to pay for the funeral of the original. Like all good pyramid schemes, the apex is at the bottom.
Living in a coffin – Perhaps the ultimate method of avoiding the added expenses of funerals is to live in a coffin, put wheels on it in late middle age, and trundle off to eternity whenever you feel like it. Think of it as "permanent parking."
To reduce the expenses of a conventional funeral, there are a few things you can do:
1. Antagonize everybody you’ve ever met.
2. Annoy a lot of backhoe operators.
3. Become one of the casting committee of a reality TV show, in which case no one will expect you to have the decency, or the intelligence, to die.
4. Start your own religion and make sure that God is in no hurry to meet you.
You really do have to admire a society which will permit people to be poor at all stages of their lives, poor during terminal illnesses, and give them the added opportunity to worry about funeral expenses being inflicted on their loved ones after they die.
In fact, you could admire it to death.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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