DEAR ABBY: Years ago I lost my beautiful wife. We had been married for more than 30 years. I bought a plot at the cemetery for both of us, and she's buried there now.
I have since remarried and have been blessed with another wonderful wife. There are no spaces left next to the existing plot, although I would like to be placed between both my wives when the time comes. Any recommendations? -- MR. IN-BETWEEN
DEAR MR. IN-BETWEEN: You have a couple of options. One would be to ask if your cemetery permits "double-depth" burials, in which one vault is placed on top of another. Or, if you wish, upon your demise you could choose cremation for yourself and have your ashes divided and placed with both wives.
I discussed your question with a wonderful lady, Lisa Carlson, executive director of the Funeral Ethics Organization. She's a mine of commonsense information on the subject of death and funerals -- a subject many people find difficult to discuss.
Lisa reminded me that years ago, funerals were handled at home and by the community, and children grew up understanding what would happen when a death occurred. However, as we turned death over to funeral directors, much of that common knowledge has been lost. The average adult plans only one funeral in a lifetime, and few schools teach us what our choices and rights are -- or how to save money on funerals.
Readers, the Funeral Ethics Organization publishes free, state-specific pamphlets on the subject of funeral consumer rights. To download one for your state, visit its website, funeralethics.org, or send a business-size SASE to Funeral Ethics Organization, 87 Upper Access Road, Hinesburg, VT 05461, for a print version.