Cremating Grandma

Received two letters today for Grandma Antje. That's Dutch, in case you were wondering. She narrowly escaped Hitler's invasion of Holland and came to America to marry Grandpa Glenn. Most people call her "Onnie".

Anyway, the letters: 

The first has bold, red lettering printed across the top: 

DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY 
states "that SENIORS are one of the highest 
groups at risk of dying in home fires"! 

It goes on to assure her, in various other-hued bold print that the senders of the letter care, oh so much about her safety. I have yet to determine who those people are, but apparently they care. They care so much they want to send her a free Fire Extinguisher. Capitals included. 

The second letter comes courtesy of smartcremation. They also care deeply about Grandma.  And the environment and her loved ones who are "smart enough to know how best to choose a plan that fits their own agenda. Smart enough to know value when they see it. And smart enough to consider the many environmentally sound advantages of cremation over the pollution and unwise use of valuable space inherent in embalming and cemetery lots." 

You don't want to "burden your loved ones with an awkward duty at a time when they are most emotionally vulnerable" now, do you Grandma? They even included this caring little disclaimer at the end: "This mailing is part of a general distribution — delivery to a home where illness exists is unintentional." Good to know. 

But honestly, when my time comes, I'm all for my loved ones wrapping my corpse in a bed sheet and burying it somewhere on the back forty. Even cremation can't be more environmentally friendly than that. I'm dead, right? What do I need a hardwood coffin and embalming fluid for? 

The letters got me to thinking–what are the laws about burial around here, anyway? You hear quite a bit about green funerals in the news lately, and every article I read recommends I check with local authorities regarding laws specific to my state or county. 

So I did some checking. Turns out, nobody else knows either–or if they do, they aren't telling. Bad for the funeral business maybe. I got quite the cold shoulder from the powers that be down at the Coroner's Office and at the Grant County Health District. 

I might have to keep digging, just to tick somebody off. I think I should be able to build my own coffin and get to rotting right away if I please. 

Meanwhile, I find today's mail amusing. You see, there are a few things you should know about Grandma Onnie: 

  1. She has never resided at this address. 
  2. As a matter of fact, she died more than ten years ago–something like eight years before house or this address even existed. 

How we get mail for her, with this address printed right there on the envelope, is a mystery. When she first died I spent several days calling the customer service departments of various catalogs and magazines to cancel her bounteous mailings, but it appears the computer system is having a dickens of a time letting this woman go. When mail began going back as undeliverable I suppose they somehow linked her name to us and updated their database with our address.  


Even American Express can't quite believe she's really gone. We get annual statements from them letting us know she has a credit due of two dollars and sixty-three cents. You'd think that after ten years of inactivity, they'd figure the account was dead even if they can't bring themselves to believe me when I tell them she is. 

One thing is certain, though–Grandma Antje loved her mail and I'm sure she'd have found it hilarious to receive something purporting to be from the Feds. Who knows, maybe this is her way of living forever–jah?  

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