A letter from the Neptune Society is a rite of passage I would gladly forego, but they are relentless.
I’ve been getting them for a couple of years, and it occurred to me that it might be nice to share them with those of you who don’t have death breathing down your neck, in the form of cremation offers.
The Neptune Society has the market cornered in name recognition. There are many companies that provide the same services for less than half the price, but in California, most people think Neptune Society. In fact, that’s what my mom arranged for herself.
(Remember when she left me one dollar in her will? She thought of everything!)
Inside the envelope is a syrupy letter explaining why you should ease the burden on your loved ones by planning your cremation in advance. There are a lot of euphemisms, naturally, but here’s the essence of the pitch:
Cremation planning grants your family time to grieve your loss and celebrate your life rather than face confusing choices and high costs.
Fuck my family, know what I mean? Let them face the confusing choices, I’m certainly not going to do it for them.
Here’s what I love about the Neptune Society letters – this hilarious insert.
It’s their clever way of getting your phone number so their salespeople can torment you. Because who could resist a PRE-PAID CREMATION! They make it sound like a trip to Hawaii. And why does that guy with the baby look so happy? Did he just win a cremation or did he find out his parents “planned ahead”?
People in my neighborhood by the harbor are inclined to borrow a boat and throw their loved ones’ ashes into the sea. It’s a DIY kind of thing that really appeals to me. I once wanted to be scattered at Nordstrom, but now I’m conflicted. And truthfully, I’ve been spending more time at Marshall’s.
As an unwavering Doubter, I wouldn’t trust the Neptune Society or any company to scatter my ashes at sea. How would you know they didn’t just throw you in the trash in a Walmark plastic bag full of coffee grounds?
If you want to see a comprehensive breakdown of fees for cremation and burial services, go here. Note that it’s $25 extra to remove a pace-maker.
Maybe there’s a way to get these fuckers to take me off their mailing list, but it’s a nice reminder of my mortality. Plus, it inspires me to face a new day, just to spite the Neptune Society.