Making Money on Death

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by rdowns, Feb 28, 2006.

  1. rdowns macrumors Penryn


    Jul 11, 2003
    My grandmother is 96 and nearing death. We've been told she will likely pass any day now. She's developed pneumonia and seems to have lost the reflex to swallow so getting nutrition is difficult. She has a living will and wants no heroic measures taken. While very sad, she has lived a long and fulfilling life.

    Anyway, my aunt called me yesterday and asked me to speak at her funeral. I sat down last night to begin writing a fitting eulogy and turned to the Internet for some ideas. I couldn't believe the number of sites dedicated to selling you eulogies for $25 or more. Many used guilt as a way to get you to buy. I'm all for making money but found these sites to be quite distasteful.
  2. Deepdale macrumors 68000


    May 4, 2005
    New York
    I am sorry to hear of your grandmother's illness.The sites you mentioned, plus the countless newsgroups that exist, vividly illustrate that there is an audience for everything, including some of the strangest topics I've ever seen in the newsgroup category. The practice of playing up the guilt issue in order to get someone to buy something is offensive, moreso when a life and death matter is involved.
  3. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    Did you go to P. Diddy's blog or something? He has a knack for making money off dead people.

    Anyway, there must be some free sites and boards out there who are willing to help you for free. The world isn't full of P. Diddys.
  4. iGary Guest


    May 26, 2004
    Randy's House
    Sorry to hear about your grandmother - my grandma just made it to 94.

    What's worse is the funeral biz.
  5. Ugg macrumors 68000


    Apr 7, 2003
    The sales tactics may be reprehensible, but let's face it, death is a difficult time and I doubt that few of us are prepared or willing to write an eulogy before the fact. It may take death itself before we're able to truly express ourselves but at that point we're overwhelmed by the fact itself. I don't see anything wrong with selling eulogies, death is just one more aspect of life.

    My Grandmother died last fall at the age of 98. Every month, the nursing home she was in, allowed the family of the oldest resident to put up a display of their life (they also posted a picture on their website). My dad, her only child, wrote the most beautiful and heartfelt letter that was a part of the display. It shocked me because my dad is not a very emotive person.

    I highly recommend that anyone who is facing the imminent death of someone dear to them to start writing something before their death. Although my parents have a ways to go, I hope, I've started keeping notes about their lives. It's made me rethink things and hopefully get a little closer to them.
  6. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

    May 7, 2004
    Sod off
    The worst part is that the eulogies they sell aren't even any good - you're paying a hack writer to spit out what is essentially a form letter with your specific info plugged in.

    I feel for you - and it's a tough time to go through, and people who make a living off this sort of's just not right.
  7. Counterfit macrumors G3


    Aug 20, 2003
    sitting on your shoulder
    The upside to making money off of dead people: you never run out of customers.

  8. rdowns thread starter macrumors Penryn


    Jul 11, 2003
    No sh$%. When my grandfather died about 20 years ago, we sat in the funeral home and discussed details. My grandfather was quite well off and cost was not an issue to us. I listened to this morbid ******* try to guilt my mother and aunt into ridiculously priced things.

    I stood up and asked him, "WTF is wrong with you? Are you going to try and sell them everything in your book or do I have to smack you upside your head?" (exact quote)

    My grandmother has always told me that's it's not what you say, it's how you say it. Excellent advice but I'm still learning that at age 43. (I think that will make it into the eulogy)
  9. ToddW macrumors 6502a

    Feb 26, 2004
    I tell you when my pops died, i made the funeral arrangments cause my moms was all dissoriented with all shizzle that was going on at the hizzouse. now, i know it be hard out here fo a pimp and all, but that cracker a$$ bixatch was gonna charge us some major bengis just to give my pops a simple funeral. i told that mofo i was gonna bizatch slap his sorry POS A$$ if he didn't respect my pops right to pass and all that shiznit.

    not to make fun and all, but your sitting there trying to plan a funeral and the guys is trying to sell you a car. ****ing **** heads.

    sorry for you situation man. it's always hard to lose a loved one.
  10. Les Kern macrumors 68040

    Les Kern

    Apr 26, 2002
    OR you could look at it another way... for 25 measly dollars you can get something befitting your grandmother... maybe because one might not have the mental capacity to write something or it's too hard to put words together because of grief. They aren't using guilt at all, IMO. It's simply a niche business. Don't like = don't buy.
    And I too am sorry for the circumstances. My step-dad probably won't make it through the year. I plan on speaking... but what to say about a man who's spent (SO FAR!) 81 years on the planet?
    Speak from your heart.
  11. CanadaRAM macrumors G5


    Oct 11, 2004
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    What would you say if a stranger walked up to you on your street last month and said: "I'd like to know your grandmother, what's she like?"

    What is the most memorable thing she ever told you?

    What advice did she give you that you'd like to remember for your own grandkids?

    Did she ever tell you something surprising?

    Or tell something unexpected about your parent?

    How did your grandparents meet?

    What was it like when your parent was a child and your grannie a young mother?

    Is there anything you found out about your gran that you never would have guessed, not in a million years?

    What experiences did she have? WWII figured large in her generation, what did she experience of it?

    What are some of the contrasts she saw growing up?

    What sort of childhood and schooling did she have compared to your parent's, and to yours?

    How many Presidents did she vote for? How may got in that she agreed with?

    What was she passionate about?

    Did she have any unrealized dreams?

    What were her greatest accomplishments?

    What music did she love? Movies?

    Did she dance? Did she sing? Maybe when she thought nobody was watching?

    What did she do in the community - help other moms, volunteer, teach, lead others in clubs or church?

    What will others remember her for?
    What would she want to be remembered for?
    What differences between the two - and does that tell anything about the inner person?

    Whoosh - enough for now.
    Hopefully something here will spark your creative energies!

    We don' need no steenking impersonal $25 templates!

    PS. Something I learned from my Aunt-in law's eulogy: She was a leader in the church, and also quite a tall lady (5'11") and one time she had a duet to sing with another lady in the choir. Just before the duet, the pastor saw her quietly slipping off her shoes, and realized that she was taking off her high heels so that when the two ladies stood together, she wouldn't tower over the shorter singer. It was something I never knew about Lorraine, but somehow encompassed both her foresight and empathy for others, AND her graceful and completely selfless way of living.

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