13 July 2011

The Bill

I dreaded opening “the Bill” from Relyea Funeral Chapel. I was afraid it would upset me – and so I walked past it several times this morning, I knew it was there, but was avoiding it. Finally, I decided to just get it over with, I was having a “good” morning, so this would probably be the best time to open it. I already knew that the total would be around $700 – so it wasn’t sticker shock – or was it. The total was only $590. I quickly scoured the rest of the page to find out how come it was so low. The funeral director had already explained that the costs would be minimal, the casket at cost, opening and closing costs at the cemetery, and the rest of the typical mortuary fees would be waived. (From what I understand it is typical for mortuary's to reduce the cost of their services for infant deaths).

The bill read as follows:

McCord Goldenfrost 12 Infant Casket – $150
Interment Fee – Cash Advance – $440

But wait, where was the cost for the flowers. I had ordered casket flowers a couple of days before the funeral. I had looked online and found the casket spray that I liked at Hope Blooms in Eagle. I loved the look of the Sweetly Rest Casket Spray, but I liked the colors in the Immorata Casket Spray. I emailed Hope Blooms and asked if they could do the Sweetly Rest with the lavender roses and for a small 12 inch casket. They were able to do what I wanted, plus suggested adding a ribbon with “Holly Marie” embroidered on it for a keepsake, and let me know they would make all the arrangements with the funeral home, including billing the funeral home. So . . .  did they get paid?
I calmly called the funeral home to double check my bill.  All is well, Hope Blooms was paid, after my bill was mailed, I would be getting a new statement at the end of the month. Relief.

While I was on the phone with the billing office I asked if I could make payments. The reassuring answer was “yes, no payment plan needed, just pay what you can.” Double Relief. The experience I had dreaded, and already cried over,  twice, went so much smoother than I expected.

It was still a good day. Maybe even a little better.

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