Sunday, July 25, 2010

Who Can You Trust?

Certainly not the satellite dish installer who upgraded the dish at my home. He changed the 4 pod LNP to an 8 pod one (the bit that the cables connect to). The 4 pod one was less than a year old and it wasn't until the next day that I realised it was missing. I couldn't see any point in ringing him as all he had to say was he left it out the front and someone must have nicked it. It is probably on someone else's house now and he has made a nice little bit of extra profit.

Anyway, the main reason for the heading is funeral directors. It is 7 1/2 years since my late wife, Pauline, passed away and it might seem a bit pointless raising the issue, but it has always stuck in my craw a bit ever since. One would think, considering the circumstances, that funeral directors could be trusted, but they can't.

First thing is the urn that the ashes go in. The standard one is made of thick plastic and if you are going to scatter them at some point, there is no point in having anything else. This funeral director persuaded me to pay extra for an ornate metal one, which was a pretty easy thing to do considering my state of mind. However, on its own it is but a few pounds and wouldn't normally bother me much.

The second and most bothering item was the funeral itself, which was more about lack of respect than money. At this point you need to know about the funeral, which was being held in Maidstone, Kent. Pauline died up here in Lincolnshire and her body needed to be transported to Kent where another funeral director took over the arrangements.

Just a few days before the funeral, I was informed that there had been a cock up with the paperwork and it had to be postponed. I went ballistic! And took all my anger out on the frim in Maidstone, subsequently transferring the arrangements that end to another funeral director.

Now, here's the rub, people needed to be notified of the change of date at the earliest opportunity and one way was to put an advertisement in the paper. I suggested to the local funeral director that they put the reason down to 'an administrative error'. However, their chap said that 'unforeseen circumstances' might be best and I agreed. Now, there's nothing wrong with that is there?

Ah, but wait a minute, Pauline was a Christian Spiritualist and an excellent medium; her funeral was being held at a spiritualist church. See where I am coming from? He had his little joke at my and Pauline's expense. I have no doubt that that advert has been coveted by him ever since and probably even appeared in some trade magazine.

Unbeknown to him, the joke is on him. Pauline had told me several years earlier that she would die when she was 55 years old. She wasn't afraid of that knowledge; to us, returning to spirit was akin to returning 'home'. Personally, I was a bit surprised when she told me, particularly as I would rather she stayed around on Earth little bit longer. Pauline died a couple of months into her fifty-fifth year.

No, Mr funeral director, her death was not 'unforeseen circumstances', just your cock up was the unforeseen bit (not the firm in Maidstone as it turns out). It cost you financially in the end.

The funeral bill arrived and I had the money sitting in an account ready to be paid, but I made them wait ... and wait ... and wait; by then, my mind was beginning to clear and I had a better perspective. Eventually, they agreed to a substantial reduction which I added to the donations received from friends and relatives. The sum total was then used to buy two Oximeters for The Diana Princess of Wales ITU where they had fought to save Pauline's life.

For reasons unknown to me, the man at the local funeral firm eventually moved on to another company; I can only speculate.

Now, I expect that some of you may be thinking 'If Pauline knew when she was going to die, did she also give you the same information about yourself?'. Well, that is privileged information; I'll just repeat what I said earlier 'returning to spirit is akin to going home'. :-)

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