DEAR ABBY: "Aurora From Milwaukee" wrote that she was concerned about where she would be buried if her first husband died and she was to remarry. You replied: "Some widows (and widowers) remarry with the understanding that he or she would be buried with the first spouse. The logical and primary reason is that this will give the children from the first marriage one place to pay respects to both parents." You also said she could ask that her remains be cremated and divided equally between both husbands.
My second husband provided me with a better solution. My first husband and I were married for 25 years and had three children. We divorced on friendly terms. I had been married to my second husband for 29 years when my first husband died, leaving me to legally follow through with all his wishes. At my suggestion, the kids and my current husband went to the cemetery to make cremation arrangements. My husband stood back until the kids and I had completed the purchase of a niche for husband No. 1's urn. Then he stepped forward and said, "If it's OK with my wife, I'd like to purchase the adjoining double niche for her and for me when our time comes." The kids readily agreed, and I couldn't have been more pleased.
As I write this, the urns we purchased are already waiting in our new niche. Mine sits between husband No. 1 and husband No. 2. I hope this helps your readers recognize that not all families live in hatred of exes and stepfamilies. -- TWICE-MARRIED IN THE USA
DEAR TWICE-MARRIED: It certainly sets a worthy example. Although the subject of death and funerals is usually a downer, I must confess that some of the letters I received in response to "Aurora's" question made me smile. Read on:
DEAR ABBY: In a rural cemetery in southeast Licking County (Ohio), there's a large black tombstone bearing a woman's name. She's buried between "Darling Husband George" and "Darling Husband Ray." Perhaps this will be of interest to "Aurora." -- JAMES MCC., NEWARK, OHIO
DEAR ABBY: When I was about 5 or 6, I spent part of the summer at my grandma's, and overheard her talking to her sister about a woman whose husband had died and been buried in a large family plot. Her second husband died and was also buried there. When the woman passed away, she was buried between her two husbands.
I asked Grandma if all three were holding hands down there. It took me years to live that one down. -- ARNOLD S., CENTERVILLE, OHIO
DEAR ABBY: My wife died in 1997. I'm a veteran of World War II, and we chose the usual veteran's tombstone for her grave. We had both her name and my name inscribed on the stone. She was buried in the family plot at our local cemetery.
My younger brother died in 2000. He was also a World War II vet, and his widow chose a veteran's tombstone for his grave. His widow had both his name and hers inscribed on the stone. He was buried next to my wife in the family plot.
My brother's widow and I married each other in 2002. Our marriage solved the problem posed by "Aurora." We plan to be buried beside our first spouses and second spouses. -- ROBERT IN NORTHERN CALIFORNIA
DEAR ABBY: That letter reminded me of a similar question that appeared in your column years ago. The writer was a man who had remarried after his first wife died. He said he wanted to be buried between the two wives, "but tilt me toward Tillie." -- BETTY J., EUGENE, ORE.