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by Abigail Van Buren

Mother in Law Keeps Mum About Name Calling Umbrage

DEAR ABBY: My husband and I have been happily married for 16 years. We have one son, age 12. While writing our wills, my husband told me that his wish is to be cremated and his ashes scattered in the ocean off the beach near where he grew up.

I'd like us to be together after we have both passed on, but his beach holds no fond memories for me. I would much prefer to be buried in our local cemetery with a headstone so our son can come to "visit" both of us. I don't want to spend eternity in a cemetery plot without my husband. Any suggestions? -- PLANNING AHEAD IN MASSACHUSETTS

DEAR PLANNING AHEAD: Yes, one would be that you and your spouse continue talking about this until you can reach a meeting of the minds regarding the disposition of your remains. If you can't agree, then what happens to them will be the decision of the surviving spouse.

Another thought: You are basing your preference on what your son may -- or may not -- want to do after he reaches adulthood. While many people find comfort in visiting their parents' graves, others find the idea depressive. Also, your son may wind up with a career that takes him to Texas, California, Hawaii or even farther away from the town in which he is being raised.