Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of October 27, 2008
Memorial society seeks a simpler way
By WCR Staff
Death takes on an intense meaning when it’s your husband.
Mae Cox discovered that when her partner Philip died in 2004. Mae has been a Memorial Society member for some 56 years.
The Edmonton society guides people through ways to make a funeral simpler, low cost, meaningful. So all that information helped her through an emotional time.
The former Alberta Teachers’ Association executive secretary had been in failing health for some time — arthritis and heart problems. “He was wishing he could die; he’d seen and done everything he had wanted,” says Mae.
When death came to the 80s plus man, Mae had his body wrapped in a shroud and cremated.
Her husband was a much-loved man by his ATA associates, so Mae had a memorial service for him in the middle of January in the ATA auditorium.
“Over 450 people came — some in wheelchairs, some with walkers, canes,” recalls Mae. “It was a get-together for everyone because they still needed a farewell. It was as much for everyone else as it was for me.”
She had Philip’s ashes interred in a grave with his parents the following summer.
Mae too practises green memorials. When her mother died at 98 in 1999, Mae had a bench and four trees planted in the sitting area by Hardisty Nursing Home.
Yes, Mae’s still active in the Memorial Society — speaking, making presentations, advising.
“It’s been an interesting ride,” said the consumer advocate.