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Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Adding to Death and Taxes Certainties of Life

Picture courtesy of Bennett Funeral Coaches

Benjamin Franklin didn't have it covered when he said that the only certain things in life were Death and Taxes.

In the funeral industry there is a private code of ethics when it comes to caring for the deceased of any family. Respect and dignity is the goal of every funeral home and many families benefit from this service during a very difficult time in their lives. Loosing a child is tragic, it rips the families heart and soul out to bury a child. Love of the child is overpowering to the parent and providing a descent burial is foremost the parents only concern.

That being said, you have the Papamoka Scum Bag Award winner in Springville, Utah. How would you like to show up at your teen age sons grave and find the headstone gone? Words on a stone to some are just that but your child’s name over a grave is just one of the steps in the grief process. To find it was repossessed is just disgusting in my opinion.

Over at the Houston Chronicle they have this piece on head stone repo’s…

Teen crash victim's headstone repossessed over unpaid bill
Associated Press

SPRINGVILLE, Utah — The cemetery headstone for a teenager who died in a car wreck was repossessed after a $750 bill went unpaid.

"That's just business," said Linda Anderson of Memorial Art Monument. "If we give every stone to everybody, we'd be out of business. They'd repossess your car if you didn't make payments."

Brady Conger, 17, and two friends died when their car smashed into a sport utility vehicle a year ago Thursday.

Memorial Art said bills sent to one address were returned, and the business couldn't reach Brady's mother, who apparently had agreed last year to pay the balance. "The end result was that there was absolutely no one who I could talk to about this," owner Mike Anderson said.

Brady's classmates raised money to pay the bill, and the headstone will be installed again this week.
- Houston Chronicle

I understand that any business needs to get paid for the services they provide but maybe these folks stepped over the line. This particular industry has no room for mistakes and if the business owner did not do his homework on the customers credit history then the stone should have staid where it should have rested for eternity.

This business owner could have reached out to the church the child was buried under or contacted local charitable organizations if the bill was unpaid. There are far too many avenues of restitution that his headstone company overlooked to even justify yanking the grave marker off of this child’s grave. Churches are not just for worship, they are their to help the people in their congregation. Would you as a parishioner not thrown ten bucks or twenty bucks in a basket if you knew the head stone for a seventeen year old kid was in jeopardy? My personal thanks to his classmates that did the right thing. They are wiser at their age than people give them credit for and I absolutely adore them for paying the bill.

Which brings me to the point of my post. Death and taxes are a given fact of life in these here United States of America but so is the right of a respectful burial no matter your lot in life in these United States of America. Being a Catholic, I know that once a grave is established the consecrated ground can not be disturbed.

Some folks like to bash us Catholics for our belief but I know that my church will not allow any debtors to yank me up out of the ground if my widow and five daughters can’t make the payments on my casket. Stories like this make me proud of my choice of faith.


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