Serving your family at every stage of life

by admin on October 31, 2009

in Shopping Centers

Well here we were the day before Halloween and I had yet to decide on a topic on which to write that coincides with the season, but along came Walmart. Now I realize the retail giant gets a lot of undeserved criticism, but in this regard I find the critics to be constructive. The store announced that they will now be selling caskets and urns on its website. I believe in capitalism, the open market, and making a buck. I also believe in saving a buck as a consumer, but this is an example of a product whose price I am fairly indifferent about.

I confess that I’m not sure why this story bothers me so much. I just find it strangely depressing that the last purchase of my life would be made at the same place I buy diapers, food and everything in between. I guess it’s kind of a circle of life thing. I’m starting to feel like just another resource for the department store to tap. If a product called Soylent Green appears on the shelves, here’s a hint, don’t eat it! It tastes just like people. I think death and mourning is probably not a good product for whole sale retailers. Buying urns in bulk, or dropping off and picking up your dead at the drive through window could prove just a little dehumanizing. I can hear it already, “Will the Hague family please report to isle five for your father’s wake.”

In all seriousness, I understand that fraud and scams in the funeral services are very real mine fields for grieving families to navigate. Largely for this reason, my own father sees it as perfectly acceptable for the department store to offer the on-line products. By the way, the caskets actually have product names like; “the executive,” (almost sounds like something one might prefer to test drive prior to purchasing), and “Mom and Dad remembered.” There’s nothing like a little manufactured sympathy. It comes down to this, I just don’t want to be considering end of life options while in the middle of it. And Dad, I don’t care what you say; I’m not burying you in a Walmart casket!

Instead of turning to a department store in preparation for the life to come, I suggest simply planning ahead. Find a funeral home and director you know to be honest, and make your wishes known to your family not your local Walmart. As I finish this piece I am reminded that I need to head to Walmart for more Halloween candy. Hey! Maybe I should pick up an urn to put it in!

To see the on line listings follow the links below.

Walmart Caskets

Walmart Caskets link 2 

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