In the past, we've suggested a variety of ways to cut your funeral costs, including shopping for a casket at Walmart, getting buried at sea, or buying an alternative coffin. But even the bargain funeral option, cremation, isn't cheap -- in 2012, the average cost for a cremation was $3,725.
In other words, even with careful planning and budgeting -- again, a path that few grieving family members will take -- a funeral will still set you back a few thousand dollars.
In addition to the monetary aspect, funeral crowdfunding also offers mourners an opportunity to memorialize a life. Glancing through funeral stories, I found, a man who took care of his family and loved cars, a gentle woman who clung to her love of crosswords even during her fight with Alzheimer's, and a young man who "always lit up the room with his smile."
Some of these crowdfunding campaigns are intended to cover funeral expenses; others will fund scholarships and other memorials. All of them, however, seem to offer an extra way to honor a loved one while saying goodbye. And that's a fine memorial in and of itself.
Bruce Watson is DailyFinance's Savings editor. You can reach him by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow him on Twitter at @bruce1971.