"A beacon of hope in the darkest times. This week, a remarkable event unfolded. A young man reached out to CMS in desperation. His wife's only sibling had passed away in her sleep the night before, leaving them with the overwhelming responsibility of planning and paying for the funeral. With three young children under the age of seven and limited financial resources, the situation seemed dire.
In a heartwarming twist, the man discovered that a colleague of his wife's sister had purchased a CMS membership, significantly reducing the anticipated funeral costs. Simultaneously, compassionate neighbors learned of the family's plight and rallied together, collecting money, gift cards, and toys to deliver just before Christmas. As I reflected on this story during my drive home, it became clear that a $40 membership and a few acts of kindness could truly make a profound difference, saving a family's Christmas." - Caroline
"I have experienced the invaluable support of CMS in handling both my mother's and, more recently, my best friend's passing. It's truly one of the greatest gifts a person can leave for their loved ones – clear instructions on how they want things to proceed after their passing. Both families were immensely grateful for the foresight of the departed to have engaged with CMS. Everything unfolded exactly as planned, with no surprises. It was an excellent experience.
I highly recommend gifting a CMS membership for Christmas, both for yourself and others. The information alone that you receive is worth the price of membership. It not only saves money but also provides unparalleled peace of mind! Cheers," - Brian H.
"We purchased a membership for my Dad shortly before his passing. At the time we were able to pre-plan and pay for his funeral through your society and it was an excellent experience." - Jennifer
"My wife Sharon and I had the pleasure of meeting with Bill Robertson from McInnis & Holloway this morning. We've struggled to get our affairs in order for some time, feeling an increasing sense of urgency as time passed. However, meeting with Bill alleviated our concerns swiftly. His profound understanding of our situation made addressing these matters incredibly easy. Bill's experience in dealing with these issues was evident, as he preemptively answered many of our questions. Every piece of advice he shared made perfect sense, even covering aspects we hadn't considered. Throughout our meeting, it felt like we were conversing with an old friend rather than a stranger we had just met. Sharon and I will sit down to review what we've learned, but the fear of creating a burden for our family has been dispelled. We sincerely thank you for putting us in this situation, and I cannot adequately express how meaningful it is to have our arrangements finalized. The reduction in stress over this end-of-life matter is immeasurable. We feel confident moving forward, and we are deeply grateful for the guidance provided. - Larry A."
"Both me and my sister are big fans of the memorial society model and happy our mom made that choice when she did. Thank you so much for your help and for doing such good work for people when they need it most." - Wil M.
"I am Marlee from High River and I have MS. I am not able to get out much so I depend so much on my computer to get things done. I had heard about the Co-operative Memorial Society so I checked it out online. The site was fantastic, so easy to navigate and I purchased a membership. I followed through with your service provider and did all of my pre-planning. Now I can rest assured that I saved money and my executor will not be overwhelmed with decisions. I thank you all so much for your incredibly valuable service." - Marlee C.
"In 1999, I faced the challenging experience of being the primary caregiver, enduring power of attorney, and executor for my good friend Stuart, who battled cancer. This emotionally taxing journey taught me valuable lessons that I share with you today. Let's start by reviewing some typical funeral costs in the Calgary area. A friend lost his father in early 1999, and even the most straightforward cremation, with no service, cost the family $1900. My mother introduced me to the Cooperative Memorial Society, of which she had been a member for almost a decade. Anticipating Stuart's imminent passing, it was crucial to enroll him as a member quickly, as only the living are eligible to join. Upon contacting the Society, Stuart became a member on the same day. When he passed away a week later, the benefits were immense. Stuart had requested the simplest process - cremation with no service and no urn. The chosen funeral home, McInnis & Holloway, executed all the details flawlessly. On Monday they transported Stuart to the crematorium, completed all necessary legal documents, assisted with the obituary for the newspaper, placed the obituary, and returned the ashes, death certificates, and burial certificate to me by Friday. The total cost was less than $750! Take it from someone who has been through it - becoming a member of this non-profit organization should be your next step. Where else can you spend $20 (now $40) and potentially save over $1000 (now $2500)? I gain no personal benefit from sharing this except the knowledge that my friend's passing has left a legacy of value for us. - Alan Davis. Please note that the financial details mentioned are dated from a previous provider contract, however, the intent of the message still rings true."
"Mom was the one who found out about your organization and persuaded some of her children to buy memberships. Being part of the Memorial Society helped us as we planned her memorial. Thank you for the work you do. Your words of condolence brings us comfort in our journey of grief." - Marita (Nina's daughter)
"The society was very helpful when my husband passed away. Service was great and the price was very reasonable. My mom's funeral cost over $12K in Lethbridge (not including casket she pre-purchased, and not including the burial plot. This was not through the Memorial society)". - Kyera L. via Google
"I am astounded and very touched by the quickness and clarity of your response. It is a great help at this time." - R. Birks.
" I’m telling everybody about you guys and thanks so much for being available to people. I think it’s so important. Much love for what you do and for whoever actually thought of the idea to start this society." G. P. October 18, 2023
"This is a note to let you know how pleased my father and my family were over the service provided by McInnis & Holloway for the cremation of my mother Hilda H., who was a member of your Society. The people at McInnis & Holloway took plenty of time to explain everything to us, and provided very good value for the money spent. I would recommend them to anyone. Your Co-operative provides a very valuable alternative for people."
David H., Calgary
"I wish to thank you very sincerely for the kind consideration you showed to me, my son and his wife during the recent sad period. I do not think anyone could have been more helpful. Certainly the services performed by the funeral home were just what was requested. Once again I thank you for your very timely help." - Peter J. B, Balzac
"My gratitude and appreciation go out to the CMS for supporting the Equinox Vigil. The event with many artists, production crew and volunteers along with people from organizations like yours, is creating a wonderful evening of remembering and celebrating together. Sincerely, Sharon Stevens, Founder
"I had never considered the cost of funerals, or the impact that cost can have on those in mourning. In the course of my work with CMS I have witnessed the stress that people go through as they are mourning, and the incredible gratitude that members have for the services they receive from CMS. It’s amazing that such a small fee, and a lifetime membership, can lead to such incredible savings and peace of mind for people of all walks of life. Your discounts seemed too good to be true. But in learning more I discovered that this is just an example of the amazing potential of a cooperative structure. The fact that the membership can also help people plan ahead, empowering them to make their own decisions about what they want after they’ve passed away makes it even more valuable and important." - Shannon H.
"I believe the CMS promotes and delivers an important service to individuals by providing the chance to plan sensibly and affordably for themselves and their families when death occurs. Emotions run high when a loved one dies, so it is best to plan and communicate your wishes beforehand. The Society provides the means to do that. However, in order to continue working with the community, they need support. Because I believe CMS does offer a very worthwhile community service, I have contributed to the society for the last 25 years." - Sigrid W., Calgary
"I tell everyone about CMS. When my husband died at the hospice, they asked me what I would like to do. All I did was pull his membership card out of my wallet, and everything was answered." - Lola
"I joined CMS as a member in 1995 along with my family members because I wanted to provide an economical yet a dignified funeral." Nellie M., Calgary (Soon after this, Nellie joined the CMS Board and became our longest serving director!)
"My husband passed away on Mar 18, 2013 and we had Shannon J. of McInnis & Holloway from Airdrie as our funeral director. We had excellent service. We were very pleased with the Funeral Home. Thanks for your services too. We had the body transferred from Red Deer & the whole bill was $1494.68. That's a huge savings compared to what it would have cost us without a Memorial Society membership. This is a tremendous service at a critical time. It is such a blessing to be able to go through a death and funeral without incurring a huge debt as well. Thanks again." (Please note: the CMS now has a service provider in Red Deer.)