(Roughly) Daily

Posts Tagged ‘cremation

“I did not attend his funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it”*…


The cost of burying a loved one in America has risen faster than virtually everything else over the last 30 years.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics just published a fascinating look at the cost of dying in the US…  The chart below shows that the price index for funerals has risen almost twice as fast as consumer prices for all other items.

Producer prices for caskets rose 230% from December 1986 through September 2017, while prices for all commodities increased 95.1%. The data is not seasonally adjusted.

As casket costs surged, the rate of cremations surpassed burials in 2015 for a second straight year, according to the National Funeral Directors Association. Its data showed that the median cost of a funeral with viewing and burial in 2014 was $7,181, and $6078 for a funeral with viewing and cremation.

Dig in at: “It’s gotten a whole lot more expensive to die in America.”

See also: “The 10 Companies That Control the Death Industry.”

* Mark Twain


As we memento mori, we might spare a thought for Sir Samuel Wilks; he died on this date in 1911.  Wilks, who served as President of the Royal College of Physicians in the UK., made his mark with the publication on his Lectures on Pathological Anatomy (1863)– for which he is remembered as a founding father of clinical science and modern pathology.  He identified the visceral lesions of syphilis and improved the understanding of Addison’s, Bright’s and Hodgkin’s diseases.  As Sir Thomas Barlow observed, “ [Wilks] started the systematic and practical teaching of morbid anatomy, and for nearly thirty years Wilks represented and embodied at Guy’s Hospital the important combination of a great morbid anatomist, and a great clinical physician and teacher.”



Written by (Roughly) Daily

November 8, 2017 at 1:01 am

From ashes to… well…

Readers may recall the craftsmen at Holy Smoke, who will pack the cremated remains of loved ones into firearms ammunition.  The less ballistically-inclined might consider:

Be honest, it’s a little creepy when someone has a giant portrait of a long-deceased relative in their home, but if you really want to take the feeling of unease to another level, try incorporating the ashes of the person into their memorial portrait. Of course, if your family isn’t the type to line hallways with portraits of dead family members, you’re likely to end up decorating the attic.

While there are a number of companies that offer this service, such as Memories From Ashes who did the work above, they seem to go out of business on a regular basis, so you might want to talk to some local artists if you really want to get this done.

Other off-beat memorial options at Neatorama’s “The 10 Weirdest Things You Can Do With Your Ashes.”

As we drop the needle on a little Blue Oyster Cult, we might recall that it was on this date in 1776 that barmaid Betsy Flanagan mixed the first “cocktail”: when a drunk waved at the tail feathers pinned to the wall behind the bar and asked for a glassful of “those cocktails,” she refilled his last order and stuck in one of the feathers.

By 1806, the descriptor had come into sufficiently wide use to appear in The Balance and Columbian Repository, a publication in Hudson, New York, in which an answer was provided to the question, “What is a cocktail?”:

Cocktail is a stimulating liquor composed of spirits of any kind, sugar, water, and bitters—it is vulgarly called a bittered sling and is supposed to be an excellent electioneering potion, inasmuch as it renders the heart stout and bold, at the same time that it fuddles the head. It is said, also to be of great use to a democratic candidate: because a person, having swallowed a glass of it, is ready to swallow any thing else.


Your correspondent is heading back across the Date Line and behind the Great Fire Wall, so service will be at best spotty until October 26 or thereabouts…

Written by (Roughly) Daily

October 18, 2011 at 1:01 am

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