Tag Archives: Portland Veterans Affairs

Dead, in the red: Services report a rising number of people who can’t afford to bury their dead

By Stacy Brownhill, Staff Writer

A name in this story has been changed to protect the subject’s identity.

Grief was the first emotion to seize Sarah Jones after her sister died from advanced cancer earlier this year.

Financial worry was the second.

From her trailer in rural Oregon where she lived with her brother-in-law, Jones called 211info with a nightmarish concern. The funeral home holding her sister’s body had just told Jones she had twenty-four hours to come up with the $500 necessary for cremation. Otherwise, the funeral home said, they would put her sister’s body in cold storage and, eventually, a numbered pauper’s grave—a typical, legal process for indigent dead. Continue reading