Taking a Dirt Nap – by Neil Fogarty

Well, you’re gone, dead, kicked off, taking a dirt nap and, according to people I meet, you could care less about what happens to you!  How many people, men especially, have the mindset of “just put in a ditch and forget it.”  I have heard many versions of that mindset, and my reply is always the same: “You realize the memorial location is not for you.” 

If not me then who?

Too many times, the need for and debate about a final resting place looks in the wrong direction.  I am not suggesting that an individual should not have a say in their final resting place, or for that matter, not be centrally involved.  What I am saying, is that of focus on the person “resting” leaves out a majority of those impacted.  Your final resting place, whatever and wherever you decide, will be a place to the living to come deal with the grief of losing you.  So, unless you really believe you are so hated that nobody will bother, you need to thank outside of yourself when choosing a final resting place.

I’m here to see Mom

Imagine this scenario, you are sitting at home minding your own business.  A little less than a year ago, Mom decided she wanted to be cremated.  Nobody in the family ever thought past the cremation itself, and you volunteered to take Mom home with you in her temporary plastic urn.  Why would you do this?  Because nobody thought about what to do with Mom after cremation, including Mom! 

Now comes the knock on your door, pulling you off the couch.  “Oh, hi Uncle Harry,” you say not knowing what your uncle is doing at your house on a Thursday evening.  He is the uncle that was more a son to your Mom than a brother. 

“Do you mind if I come in?” he asks. 

“Sure,” you reply still trying to figure out the visit.  “What are you doing here?”

“Well today is my birthday and your mom always called me to wish me a happy birthday.”

“Uncle Harry, I am so sorry I forgot.  I should have called.  I remember that Mom always did that.”  You feel terrible

“Thanks, but the reason I’m here is I want to be with my sister.  This is my first birthday without her.”

Sound far-fetched?  Well, stories like this happen. Here are links to articles addressing this very issue.

 Weighing the Options

First, let’s get something straight, whether someone is embalmed; naturally prepared; or cremated; these practices are all preparation of the body.  All are accepted, and all are appealing to different people. However, none of these are designed to be the end.  Final resting places happen after preparation; preparation is not final disposition.  Make sure you and your family understand that when discussing pre-planning.  From traditional burial plots to public columbaria niches, to natural burial, and scattering there are many options for final disposition.  Here are some links that show some of the more interesting options.  That way, you don’t get the knock on the door from Uncle Harry.

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