Cost of Dying: Honoring Those You Love Who've Passed Away on a Budget

SPRINGFIELD, Mo.--Urns, they're such confining looking spaces that could never do justice in holding the venturesome spirit of someone like Shawn Smith.

Donna Smith, Shawn's mother says, "We had a place at the lake and he loved to wake board. He did anything slightly dangerous."

The adventurous side of Donna Smith's son Shawn eventually led him to a journey of exploring drugs once he entered high school. 

"It was hard on everybody. I mean he was experimenting, but we were like you can't do that," says Smith. 

The trial run of Shawn's drug use became more serious ultimately causing his death. He died of an heroin overdose in February of this year at the age of 24. For so many people like Donna, cremation is becoming the method of choice when it comes to their loved ones' remains. 

Missy Blackwell of Midwest Cremation and Funeral Services says, "There is less involved with a cremation. When you have a traditional service, you have to have more staff, you have to have a licensed embalmer that will do the embalming for a traditional open casket service, you'll have to have a funeral director to be present at the church with the body for the service then you'll be going to the cemetery, those all incur costs on a family. Sometimes people don't have the option to spend that kind of money so their turning toward cremation."

Direct cremation, costing $845 isn't the only economical option for a loved once when he or she passes away, Blackwell says that graveside services costing $305 and immediate burials costing $695 are other alternatives to expensive funerals.

 "A direct burial could mean that someone passes away and they still want to have their family still wants to have a traditional burial space. The individual can be picked up, placed in a casket and taken directly to the cemetery. An open casket service, we still have the embalming, the dressing, the casketing and the casket, but instead of having services in a church or a funeral home, there held at the graveside," says Blackwell. 

And when deciding what to do with Shawn's remains?

"He had always expressed that he wanted to live in Colorado", says Smith. 

And being the outdoorsman that he was, he didn't want to be restricted to just an urn or even a city for that matter.

"He didn't want to stay in Springfield, you know many of his demons were here and he wanted to get away from them," says Smith. 

So Shawn's parents set him free by traveling to the mountains of Colorado and scattering his ashes in a place that he didn't get to live in life, but he can now reside in death.

Donna says that the family plans on having a memorial or a celebration of life to honor Shawn later this year.




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