Ask Amy: Husband wants to relocate, after death
- January 7, 2024
Dear Amy: My husband has lived in the Pacific Northwest since 1966. That’s 57 years! We’ve been married for 25 years.
On a recent trip to Kansas, my husband’s birth state, he learned that the family cemetery plot has room for one more person, so now he wants his remains buried next to his paternal grandparents and uncles.
These people have been deceased now for decades. I never met any of them.
There is no room for me in this family plot in Kansas, although there are plots available in another section of the cemetery.
I am not interested in being buried in a state I’ve never lived in.
I am perturbed that my husband prefers to be buried with these relatives instead of near me, in the place where our five kids were raised, and where his own parents are buried.
Rationally I know that my annoyance is silly since, after I’m dead, I won’t know where I was buried. But jeez, there is a cemetery six miles from our house and I guess I will be cremated and interred there by myself.
Am I being unreasonable, and are there other options?
– Making Grave Decisions
Dear Making Decisions: It sounds as if this recent visit to Kansas triggered in your husband a very deep and sentimental desire to eventually return to the old sod. I believe this is a common and natural reaction when people at a certain stage of life visit their birthplace or ancestral home.
His choice brings up many practical issues for his survivors: the need to transport his body halfway across the country, and the fact that survivors will likely not be able to visit his gravesite very often.
Your husband’s desire to actually be buried in Kansas may fade, once he brushes the dust off after this recent trip.
There are many ways your husband could leave his mark on his birthplace during his lifetime – through support of local institutions. He could donate books to the elementary school’s library, support the historical society, or donate a fresh memorial to be installed at his ancestral cemetery. You might explore some of these options with him.
I suggest that you and your children should reserve plots at your local cemetery near his parents’ gravesites, since this seems to be where you intend to be buried.
You should revisit this choice in a few months, and he should at some point make his wishes known in writing.
Dear Amy: I have three sisters. Our parents are elderly.
We have been getting together for a potluck dinner at my parents’ house to celebrate birthdays and other occasions, usually once a month.
This makes it easier for our folks so they do not have to leave their home.
The issue is that my parents and three sisters are very negative people.
The conversation is always about how inadequate our current politicians are. They constantly spread fake news articles through social media and emails from questionable sources.
They are prejudiced and intolerant.
They discuss gender identity and sexual orientation like it’s a disease, even though my son (their nephew and grandson) is openly gay.
Lastly, they are anti-vaxxers (even though some received the Covid vaccine). But now any illness they get is because they received the vaccine.
I have not attended the last couple potlucks, which saddens me because I enjoyed our time together. I know my parents enjoyed it, as well.
I now choose to visit my parents by myself.
Should I tell them that I am not attending anymore, and tell them why?
I feel like if I do attend, I will become the odd person out, saying nothing and not even wanting to hear them talk about their subjects of choice during what should be a special family time!
Dear Tired: I have an idea. How about attending and not staying silent? How about standing your ground – if only to defend your own son, whose sexual identity is not a disease?
If after doing this, you choose to stay away from future group meetings, at least all of the participants will know why.
Dear Amy: “Confused” expressed frustration that she is prompted to “tip” after being handed a baked good or a cup of coffee.
The credit card machine does not distinguish motives. It’s just an automated prompt that comes with the software!
Dear Laughing: In my response I pointed this out – and yet why do I let the software make me feel so guilty for pressing “no tip?”
©2023 Amy Dickinson. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
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