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  1. #1
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    Poor Americans having to dig graves for their dead children

    Father digs his son's grave


    Melvin Critney


    BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - After cancer took the life of a 15-year-old boy, his family dug the teen's grave themselves to save on funeral costs and also received assistance from complete strangers to give him a proper burial.

    Melvin Critney lost his battle with cancer last week. His father, Melvin Stewart, said his son was sent into the world with a mission, which he did well.

    He said Melvin left an impression on everyone he came across.

    Even Melvin's nurses said he had a special kind of energy.

    They said he was always grateful and grown-up. His mother, Rosland Critney, said most of all he wanted to see his parents not have to work so hard to live like other people.

    Melvin's parents said they make just enough money to get by.

    When their son had to undergo several rounds of chemo therapy, they relied on St. Jude for funding.

    However, when Melvin died, his parents were on their own to pay for the funeral.

    Stewart said everything was about the money.

    A local funeral director told the family it would cost $5,000 to bury their son.

    Funeral Director Hall Davis, IV told them they could save $300 if they dug their own grave. He said it is a common practice.

    Melvin's father, cousin, and two uncles started digging.

    Stewart said digging the hole he knew his son was going to be placed in as his final resting place was not a pretty picture.

    Even after digging into the depths of despair, this family still owed the funeral director more money.

    Davis said the funeral home always gets paid in full before the funeral.

    The Louisiana State Troopers Association heard about this family's fight and felt compelled to help.

    Sgt. Mary Beth Stupka said the association had never stepped in to help a family with funeral arrangements prior to this situation.

    The resources were pooled to pay the remaining costs.

    Help arrived from people the family never knew, but they're certain their son had a hand in it.

    Melvin's family did not have insurance for funeral expenses.

    Local funeral directors say that's a common cause of concern for many struggling families.

    If you'd like to donate to the Louisiana State Troopers Association, the group who helped this family with funeral costs, you can visit their website and click on "donate":
    Louisiana State Troopers Association - Content



  2. #2
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    A far right wing free enterprise economy can have some drawbacks if you happen to be poor. Pretty good for the wealthy folks though.

  3. #3
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    Again the new Anti- littering laws to just throw em out in the brush like they used to do.
    Most now days put the body in a car and set it on fire and the car insurance takes care of it.

  4. #4
    I don't know barbaro's Avatar
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    Tough Times.


    BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - After cancer took the life of a 15-year-old boy, his family dug the teen's grave themselves to save on funeral costs and also received assistance from complete strangers to give him a proper burial.


    such is life; such is death

  5. #5
    Banned Muadib's Avatar
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    So, is the OP implying that the state should be responsible for funeral expenses for all citizens??? When did the concept of personal responsibility go out the window and that everyone is a ward of the state???

    Sad that the young man died before his time, but where does the extent of social welfare stop???
    Give a man a match, and he'll be warm for a minute, but set him on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life.

  6. #6
    nid aur yw popeth melyn
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    Well if you can save a few bob - why not dig it yourself? Actually didnt know one could do this.

  7. #7
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    ^^It don't stop dude, lots of those people can not work a 40 or more hour week or it puts them over the max that they can earn and still claim welfare, I would not work those that had to have at least 1 day a week off for those reasons.

    When I was a kid some folks up in the high country of Oregon were still being buried on their own property if they lived on a lonely ranch away from others, and the hole dug by relatives because thats where they wanted to be buried, not in some damn town.
    The hole was always dug by friends when the pioneers came west, so whats the big deal, maybe in Africa they posed to eat em.

    Most of my relatives from both sides up between Post and Paulina that still live on Ranches that have been in the family's for 6 or 7 generations and have some relatives buried on the ranch.
    Last edited by blackgang; 18-07-2009 at 07:15 PM.

  8. #8
    I don't know barbaro's Avatar
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    No, the gov should not dig the grave of dead folks. They're dead.

    I got no sympahty for the Yanks diggin' graves.

    Y?

    Cuz people all over the world be poor and hungry.

  9. #9
    watterinja
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    A very sad story, indeed. The father must have been heart-broken to lay his son to rest. Why the other funeral money was required, escapes me - why not let the family make the casket & conduct the funeral at their home.

    In this way, Asia beats the western model hands down.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Panda View Post
    A far right wing free enterprise economy can have some drawbacks if you happen to be poor. Pretty good for the wealthy folks though.

    I think it's in the process of making a wide detour to the left, at least until the next election anyway. Bush and his Republican party had been thoroughly humiliated. Unfortunately Americans seem to have short memories. For those who may be British, and not know, Louisiana is more or less to America what Isaan is to Thailand. Not the home of the brightest or the smartest.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Muadib
    So, is the OP implying that the state should be responsible for funeral expenses for all citizens???
    Nope, Just that in the wealthiest nation in the world parents are digging holes to bury their kids in because they aint got the 300 bucks for someone else to do it.

    How many billions of dollars does America waste on other countries each year, wars and gifts and shite like that, yet American parents aint got the money to pay someone to dig a hole to bury their dead kid.

  12. #12
    Hansum Man! panama hat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobR
    For those who may be British, and not know, Louisiana is more or less to America what Isaan is to Thailand. Not the home of the brightest or the smartest.
    So, is that where most of our American brethren hail from?

  13. #13
    Member BillyBobThai's Avatar
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    Louisiana is more or less to America what Isaan is to Thailand. Not the home of the brightest or the smartest.

    I just love it, all of the hate American's, turn a topic into something it was not suppose to be. I would rather dig the grave for my son than have the state have to pay for it. In 4 years America will be a true nanny state, like England.

    I like the Thai way. Put me in a plywood box, cover me in sugar, light the fire and close the door. I do not know why they use sugar, but I witnessed them pour at least 5 kg on my neighbor when thet held her bar-b-q.

  14. #14
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    Here's a rarity....Jools agrees with DD. While I am all in favor of "personal responsibility", capitalism frequently fails it's poorest and most helpless citizens. I think there is a place for government activism.

    Quote Originally Posted by dirtydog View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Muadib
    So, is the OP implying that the state should be responsible for funeral expenses for all citizens???
    Nope, Just that in the wealthiest nation in the world parents are digging holes to bury their kids in because they aint got the 300 bucks for someone else to do it.

    How many billions of dollars does America waste on other countries each year, wars and gifts and shite like that, yet American parents aint got the money to pay someone to dig a hole to bury their dead kid.
    "If you kill enough of them, they stop fighting. "
    Gen. Curtis LeMay - Strategic Air Command

  15. #15
    Banned Muadib's Avatar
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    ^ I agree completely and wasn't insinuating that it is DD 's view that the state be responsible for burying the dead, but the author of the article...

    This story is truly sad on many levels...

    First, this young man died before his time and from the OP appeared to have a lot of character... Something that is sorely lacking in many Americans today...

    Second, the fact that the family did not have the means to bury their son... I could not imagine the angst they felt by having to beg, borrow & accept charity to lay their son to rest...

    Third, as others have said, Louisiana is a poor state and has one of the highest rates of generational welfare in the entire country... We are talking about multiple generations of families that have never held a job that produced a living wage... Either through ignorance, laziness or lack of opportunity these families have been wards of the state for decades... The same as in Mississippi and parts of Alabama... A poor education system and corruption have also held Louisiana natives back... Sound familiar???

    Fourth, the US government has perpetuated these policies and continue to pay people to not work and produce the next generation of welfare recipients through programs like social welfare, food stamps and aid to dependent children... That's right, when those on welfare fvck like rabbits and produce more children, the government gives them additional $$$ for each child per month... These people have no motivation to improve their lot in life because they get by...

    I agree with DD's sentiment that the US should focus more on improving the quality of life of their own citizens instead of maintaining a massive military, non-essential pork-barrel spending and meddling in the affairs of every country on the planet... The educational needs of these folks should be targeted to help them become a producing member of society as apposed to a leach on it's resources...

  16. #16
    Newbie juddie's Avatar
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    I had to dig my grandmothers grave for her. Not because i couldn't afford it but because she stipulated it in her will. Revenge is sweet.
    She was a bit of a hippy though and the grave was in some nature reserve in Yorkshire, actually wasn't too bad as me and all my brothers and sisters and cousins did it together..beer was flowing and the weed wasn't too bad either...just as she wanted!

  17. #17
    I am in Jail

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    Quote Originally Posted by Panda View Post
    A far right wing free enterprise economy can have some drawbacks if you happen to be poor. Pretty good for the wealthy folks though.
    Fek, didn't know Obama was far right wing.
    Quote Originally Posted by watterinja View Post
    In this way, Asia beats the western model hands down.
    555 The whole neighbourhood helps to pay for the funeral with their envelopes of baht. Don't know any Thais with funeral insurance.
    Quote Originally Posted by dirtydog View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Muadib
    So, is the OP implying that the state should be responsible for funeral expenses for all citizens???
    Nope, Just that in the wealthiest nation in the world parents are digging holes to bury their kids in because they aint got the 300 bucks for someone else to do it.
    How many billions of dollars does America waste on other countries each year, wars and gifts and shite like that, yet American parents aint got the money to pay someone to dig a hole to bury their dead kid.
    Nothing new. Costs about $700 for a basic cremation here in Canada.
    Quote Originally Posted by BillyBobThai View Post
    just love it, all of the hate American'sI witnessed them pour at least 5 kg on my neighbor when thet held her bar-b-q.
    Another American bashing thread. Interesting about the sugar. Never saw that before and I've been to many Thai burnings, but in the Gulf.

  18. #18
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    "When their son had to undergo several rounds of chemo therapy, they relied on St. Jude for funding"

    What a wonderful country.

  19. #19
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    My Father has in his will a request asking his three kids to dig his grave when he karks it.

  20. #20
    Member tuktukdriver's Avatar
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    My family used to own a funeral home and memorial park. The press used to love writing stories about poor people having to deal with the costs and the (evil!) funeral home. It taught me what a load of garbage the media is. They like to play with the public's emotions to sell their product. My father was shown on the front page of the paper once because he dug up some dead person who's family did not pay the bill. It's actually, and sadly, very common. They made him look truly evil. The family claimed they were broke. What the newspaper did not tell is that the family had plenty of money, the will even stated that a certain portion was to be set aside for burial, and they didn't do it.

    Here is what the story does not tell you. Cremation is always an option. Not sure of the figure today but it's probably $600 and the government will pay in some situations.
    Last edited by tuktukdriver; 19-07-2009 at 09:00 AM.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by tuktukdriver View Post
    My family used to own a funeral home and memorial park. The press used to love writing stories about poor people having to deal with the costs and the (evil!) funeral home. It taught me what a load of garbage the media is. They like to play with the public's emotions to sell their product. My father was shown on the front page of the paper once because he dug up some dead person who's family did not pay the bill. It's actually, and sadly, very common. They made him look truly evil. The family claimed they were broke. What the newspaper did not tell is that the family had plenty of money, the will even stated that a certain portion was to be set aside for burial, and they didn't do it.

    Cremation is always an option. Not sure of the figure today but it's probably $600 and the government will help out in some situations. They would have to because they don't want people doing it in their backyards of the local forest.
    At least if they cremated him you old man couldn't have dug up the corpse to get the money out of them. What did he do with the rotting body, -- leave it stinking up the driveway while waiting for the family to hand over the cash?

  22. #22
    Member tuktukdriver's Avatar
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    ^ He dug up the body and cremated it.

  23. #23
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    ^Did he charge them for the extra service?

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    Quote Originally Posted by juddie View Post
    I had to dig my grandmothers grave for her. Not because i couldn't afford it but because she stipulated it in her will. Revenge is sweet.
    She was a bit of a hippy though and the grave was in some nature reserve in Yorkshire, actually wasn't too bad as me and all my brothers and sisters and cousins did it together..beer was flowing and the weed wasn't too bad either...just as she wanted!
    Nice of your grandma to give you such a good memory of her passing.

  25. #25
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    So, is that where most of our American brethren hail from?
    Quote Originally Posted by BillyBobThai
    I just love it, all of the hate American's, turn a topic into something it was not suppose to be. I would rather dig the grave for my son than have the state have to pay for it. In 4 years America will be a true nanny state, like England. I like the Thai way. Put me in a plywood box, cover me in sugar, light the fire and close the door. I do not know why they use sugar, but I witnessed them pour at least 5 kg on my neighbor when thet held her bar-b-q.
    BBT, do not pay any attention to that guy, he hasn't made anything but a slander post in years, and I have never heard of the sugar thing either and I asked my wife and she said that they used to pour on some diesel or something before the oven days and used fires.


    Quote Originally Posted by Jools
    Here's a rarity....Jools agrees with DD. While I am all in favor of "personal responsibility", capitalism frequently fails it's poorest and most helpless citizens. I think there is a place for government activism.
    But most have lived all their lives on welfare so do not know how to take responsibility for themselves, same way with most American Indians, you can not take complete care of anyone and then expect them to all of a sudden take care of themselves.

    Quote Originally Posted by Muadib
    Third, as others have said, Louisiana is a poor state and has one of the highest rates of generational welfare in the entire country... We are talking about multiple generations of families that have never held a job that produced a living wage... Either through ignorance, laziness or lack of opportunity these families have been wards of the state for decades... The same as in Mississippi and parts of Alabama... A poor education system and corruption have also held Louisiana natives back... Sound familiar???
    As I just said.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jet Gorgon
    555 The whole neighborhood helps to pay for the funeral with their envelopes of baht. Don't know any Thais with funeral insurance.
    My father in law had 300K in insurance when he died, but they are a very responsible Thai family and never ask or will not take money from me.
    But at the funeral lots of people did leave envelopes as he was a very well respected person in the village.

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