Why Lavish Funerals are a Bad Idea
Why should lavish funerals die out?
- With enormous families, one funeral is over and the next one follows soon after
- AIDS sees too many people dying for families to pay for huge send-offs
- Many people go without medical aid to fund a lavish funeral so the deceased can go out in style
- The peer pressure to make funerals a festival means many can’t pay their monthly bills
- A ‘good’ funeral speaks of the social status of the deceased. So there is pressure to provide a luxury funeral to show you cared
In South Africa we’ve seen how cows are slaughtered, new clothes and massive coffins bought to ensure a lavish funeral for the deceased. These are massive, expensive events. And family members spend a fortune to feed and accommodate friends and family.
Instead of just family members and close friends attending, which makes planning a funeral far more affordable, in the townships, people from the community are expected to come. These throngs of people must be catered for, and where people can’t afford it, the community clubs together and burial societies also help with costs.
There is Some form of Help from Burial Societies
The reality is that many households can’t afford a funeral let alone a lavish one. These same households have to borrow money from somewhere to pay for a funeral.
Fortunately in South Africa, there are mechanisms that have evolved which help individuals save for funerals. This usually includes membership in a burial society or buying a funeral policy.
For a relatively small amount each month, people know that the insurer will pay at least some funeral expenses.
The Struggle to Look More Lavish than the Next
There’s a lot of competition among Black South Africans to host a lavish funeral and even the undertaker companies are vying with each other to outdo the next when it comes to stylish marquees, PA systems, clothes, cars and food.
Call it a status issue or simply pressure from people to show respect and honour towards the deceased. Either way many South Africans are coming under great financial burden to conform to what others dictate to them.
When everyone has left and the dust has settled, the remaining family members face intolerable hardships.
Only Education will change the Mindset
There are many many Black South Africans who say that being buried in a cheap pine coffin and doing away with tents and feasting at a funeral to cut costs is simply not an option. Many who live in poverty, put a little bit of money away each month for years to ensure that they can cater for the hundreds that turn up for their funeral.
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What’s the good of spending a fortune on a lavish funeral just to keep up with the pressures from the community? Have you stopped to consider the economic welfare of your family after the dust has settled from the funeral?
Break the Vicious Circle
In exchange for exorbitant price tags for funerals, you’ll face a future of poverty, anxiety and depression.
If you want to concentrate more on a lavish funeral and less on a quality lifestyle, you’ll still be paying for one family member’s funeral when the next family member dies, and so the vicious circle just goes on and on and on.
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