DEAR ABBY: My beautiful wife of 34 years passed away eight months ago. I miss her very much. Her dying wish was that she be cremated, which I respected. She asked that her ashes be scattered at sea, which I will do this summer.
Her ashes are in a beautiful urn in the shape of a vase. After her ashes are spread in the ocean, would it be proper to use her urn as a vase? I would like to display it as a reminder of our love for each other and keep a dozen red roses in it at all times.
I have never seen a discussion of urns before in your column. Just what are you supposed to do with an urn that, in my circumstances, I will be done with after this summer? -- BUS DRIVER IN AUBURN, CALIF.
DEAR BUS DRIVER: Please accept my sympathy for the loss of your wife. I took your question to a wonderful woman named Lisa Carlson, the executive director of the Funeral Ethics Organization. Lisa assured me that it would be "absolutely proper" to use your wife's urn as a vase. Then she added that if you eventually get a girlfriend, you may want to be discreet about the "vase," and if you have children, you might consider passing it on to them as a family heirloom after your own death.