Weird funeral fact: You can BYOC/U (Bring Your Own Casket or Urn).

Posted on September 30, 2019 by AmericanHeritage under Education
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Thinking of bringing your own casket or urn to the funeral home? Here’s what you need to know…

“Donny was a good bowler, and a good man.”

If you’ve seen The Big Lebowski, you know that scattering Donny’s ashes was done in far less than even the “most modestly priced receptacle”. Instead, Theodore Donald Karabotsos had his final mortal remains committed to the bosom of the sea by way of a Folgers coffee can. That sounds funny to a lot of us, and admittedly it is somewhat eccentric. Yet, there’s a certain wholesomeness that comes with a families personality who asks you to, for example, place their loved ones ashes in beer steins. The thought of how we must have looked walking from one end of the funeral home to the other holding beer steins makes us smile. Remembering the families excitement (and giggles) when handing them back over is what truly brings it into focus. It was a light moment for them, in an otherwise very difficult time. That’s worth a whole lot!

Families bringing their own urns and cremation merchandise is becoming more and more common. Either purchased elsewhere, or of the hand-made variety, but usually something special. Something with real thought behind it. What we’ve seen far less of however, but still happens occasionally, is someone coming in with their own casket! Assisting with a very special family, we were gently asked if they could do just that. They explained the matriarch of the family, who had been battling a long fight with a terminal illness was preparing to go home. As a part of this “whole family” conversation, they’d ordered a casket off the internet, and put it together as a family, piece by piece in the garage. Parents, adult children, siblings, all put their hands on what would be her final resting place. Being in that room while they told their story, seeing the love they shared through this experience, it was one of the most heartfelt and connecting moments ever. Truly amazing.

Interestingly enough, according to the federal trade commission that governs funeral establishments, it is illegal for someone to prevent you from bringing in your own casket or urn. They can’t even legally charge you a handling fee if you’ve pre-purchased merchandise somewhere else, according to the law. Sure, there are plenty of places that would still “highly discourage” people (like the families mentioned above) from bringing in their own merchandise. They care more about selling stuff, than meeting a need. More about pushing product, than providing an experience. It’s easy to talk about while we’re all thinking with clear heads, but what about in the throws of grief? It’s much easier to be taken advantage of then. Not you though! You’re a little more prepared because you’ve taken the time to stick with us through another education adventure.

We believe when the consumer is educated – everyone wins! We’re a family owned cemetery, funeral home, and crematory located in the heart of West Texas in between Midland and Odessa. We’re at your service to answer your questions. Please call us at (432) 563-9767 email us at [email protected], or visit us online here

Re-hosting this post on our blog, but you can view the original post on our Facebook page here.