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ashes buried with which family

Choose to inter ashes at a family grave, but whose family?

Cremation is the common choice in the UK and becoming so in Canada and the US, therefore you can fit more ash caskets onto a family plot. But whose family?

I came across an interesting think piece by Ken Gallinger in the Toronto Star about where you choose to inter your ashes.

Ken’s mum is buried in her father’s plot in Toronto, his father is in south-western Ontario, along with his parents. Additionally his wife’s family has a plot in Manitoba where both parents rest. All the plots have space enough for him and his wife.

But Ken makes the point that in the in the normal run of things the bond of next of kin or principle relationship alters when one get a life partner and that is how it should be – those that continually look to their parents for love and guidance before turning to their spouse are well umm …doomed.

So what do you do when it comes to being interred, clearly his mother and father choose to be separated and return back to their parents. But most couples would not want this, most would wish some continuance of their bond. With families becoming ever more dispersed what you do, his suggestion is to have his ashes and his wife’s ashes mixed, divided into three and one urn interred in each of the plots.

But what about his children or his grandchildren they could be looking at something like 12 locations – which seems crazy. Also this is not an option for Catholics (as they can’t split the ashes) and how many headstones would you have? Here lies 1/9 of Stuart Wilson and 1/7 of Catherine Wilson? What happens if your partner can’t stand the ‘in-laws’?

I am not saying he shouldn’t do what he suggests, it is all about choice. What I am saying is this approach is probably not sustainable in the long run.

A couple of other options then – don’t opt for the family plot – have your own where you made your life, or make it a family tradition to scatter a token amount in a certain place – a specific lake or river? Tricky one this…

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