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Will Your Final Resting Place Be A Good Fit?

Published: April 2, 2020

It seems that we spend our entire life-time trying to fit-in into different social settings. Usually it starts when we are allowed to leave the boundaries of our front yards without adult supervision, did the neighborhood kids include us in those beloved “street games” of old? (For all the millennials, street games are what we did prior to the advent of video games and texting. Things like Double Dutch, Tag, Ringolevio, Hide and Seek, Stick-ball and Skully to name a few). The need to fit in became even more important when we reached high school for who would not want to be part of the “in-crowd” during those hormone -driven years when not being invited to a party caused a crushing blow to our egos unless, of course, we had our own posse on board to crash the party anyway. You would think that this need to fit in would have been old hat by the time we went to work as adults, but unfortunately social networking became a “thing” and fitting in with our colleagues in order to get a job done was something that employers’ expected of us as part of our job performance. Not to mention when that same old feeling of being left out would arise if we weren’t asked to join the crew for a beer after work.

We digress, this kind of fitting in has nothing to do with your final resting place as anyone can see from gravesite headstone inscriptions, where there are no limitations on who a burial plot neighbor might be unless it’s a sectarian cemetery, in which case the only thing we can be sure of is that our neighbor shares our faith. What we are literally referring to is the size (dimensions) of your final resting place. Now, before going any further, we want to make it very clear this is not a piece on “fat shaming” for after all our own beloved funeral director might benefit from losing a few pounds in the midsection himself. (smile). We are sharing this in the spirit of providing families with information that they are generally not aware of until confronted with having to make funeral arrangements for their loved ones.

We all remember the flutter that airline carriers made when they decided to charge, what we refer to in the trade as “oversized” passengers, for two seats. Their justification being that when a passenger spills over into the seat next to them that airlines cannot sell the spillover seat to another passenger who understandably doesn’t want to sacrifice their own comfort during the flight. And, for all those ladies out there who receive fashion catalogues and for on-line shoppers as well, surely you have noticed that there are generally two different prices for clothing items shown with a significant bump-up in cost for the ex-large and 1-3x sizes. It’s a given that manufacturers have to purchase more material and their sewers need more time to assemble larger garments so we readily accept that the cost to consumers will be higher. Unfortunately, these same principles apply in the funeral industry, extra-large people can and do cost more to prepare for burial.

We invite you to try a little test that you might ask another person to assist you with. Lie down and cross your hands across your midsection. Ask your partner to measure the distance between both of your elbows. What did you get? Hopefully, it was 24” or less for a standard size casket is 25” across with only 24” in its interior. Anything wider than 24” will require an oversized casket that ranges from 27-28.5” and can result in an almost 100% increase in price. Beyond 28.5” we are looking at a customized option that can be even more costly. Needless to say, the quantity/number of tools and staff required to prepare an oversized individual increase accordingly. Cemeteries also have standard size graves for standard size coffins, but will also charge more for larger graves needed to accommodate an oversized casket. The fixed price of the cemeteries’ burial plot is more often than not just about half the cost of the entire funeral costs. In case this pushes one to consider cremation, it is true that it will certainly be less expensive than a burial, however, crematorium’s also charge more for oversized decedents.

The Goode news is that if you are reading this and took the test and confirmed that you are over the 24” threshold, there is still something that you can do about it so as not to leave the heavier (no pun intended) burden of paying more for your funeral:

1. Check with your doctor to make sure you are cleared to do some moderate exercise, start with a

ten-minute walk and then increase it as you get stronger. The American Heart Association’s guidelines recommend 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week. and-keep-it-off Don’t get hung up on the amount of time, do whatever you can when you can and you will still derive benefits.

2. Get your rest, optimally a minimum of seven hours of sleep per night is needed to refuel your body. Sleep is essential to providing you with the energy needed to exercise and be fully engaged during the day. It’s also a time when your body is metabolizing the food you consumed that day and recent studies indicate that lack of sleep can lead to obesity. If you’re having difficulty sleeping or not getting enough try turning off all screen time at least an hour before bed. The blue light from electronics actually interferes with your ability to fall off to sleep.

3. In Dr, Michael Greger’s bestseller book, How Not to Die, (Yes, we at J.F. Goode Funeral Home

want you to be among the living as long as possible!) he points to the simple truth which is that most doctors are good at treating acute illnesses but bad at preventing chronic disease. The 15 leading causes of death, such as, heart disease, diabetes and cancer just to name a few, claim the lives of 1.6 million Americans annually. This doesn’t have to be the case. Greger is a strong advocate of eating a plant-based diet and his advice is well backed up by peer-reviewed scientific evidence. His website offers up informative tips about good nutrition

4. Dieting is not something that can be sustained so instead try to adhere to simple rules like

controlling portion sizes, eating lots of fruit, vegetables and fiber, limit the intake of sugar and alcohol and eat three squares at regularly scheduled intervals with a cut-off time for eating well before bedtime.

At J.F. Goode Funeral Home we believe in full discloser in making funeral arrangements for it is our endeavor to be a Goode “fit” in meeting your families’ funeral service needs.

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