Thinking About Dying, Part 2
As we face the realities of getting older and dying on our own terms, and not leaving terribly difficult decisions to our only child, my husband and I are having the difficult discussion about where and how we want to be buried. This is really problematic. We both grew up in tight communities where our grandparents and great grandparents and much of the extended family lived their entire lives, and were buried in the churchyard where our own parents bought plots long ago. Yet he and I moved around during our married lives…very common in military families like ours. Where is “home”? While we have lived in our current community for over a decade, raised our daughter here, and have a church home, we probably won’t live here forever. Some people I’ve discussed this with laugh and say it doesn’t matter, as we will be dead. But it matters to us…and again, we don’t want to force this decision to our daughter.
My peaceful little hometown church cemetery would be a lovely place to be laid to rest. I would be in good company with all my family around me. Yet my husband has no connection to it. My husband’s family plot is in a huge cemetery on the edge of the City of Philadelphia, with large and impressive headstones, vaults, and lots of history. It is fascinating and beautiful, and happens to be across the street from his childhood home. We have spent many afternoons walking through Holy Sepulcher Cemetery, paying respects to his departed loved ones, but I wouldn’t feel at home there.
My husband is a retired Air Force Colonel, so he, and I as his spouse, could be buried in Arlington. That would be cool in way, and we would be in impressive company, but I would feel separated from everyone at that point, and who would come visit us there?
So, in the final analysis, we are pondering cremation. When the first of us dies, the ashes will be stored and then when we are both gone, our ashes could be scattered together in some place very special to us. Now we just have to decide where would that be…..
Choices…difficult but necessary. Have you made this decision?