DEAR ABBY: I just finished the letter from "Plotting and Planning in Arizona" (Oct. 5), regarding why cremation is so popular. There are also other reasons.
My father, a WWII veteran, had planned to be buried in a national veterans' cemetery. After his death we were informed that the only option currently available was interment in the veterans' wall of honor columbarium, because the cemetery had run out of space for traditional burials. -- PROUD DAUGHTER OF WWII VET
DEAR PROUD DAUGHTER: "Plotting and Planning" guessed one reason was cost, while another might be that we live in a more mobile society. Readers agreed, but offered additional input:
DEAR ABBY: Several people I know prefer cremation because they are claustrophobic. Even the thought of being shut up in a casket gives them the heebie-jeebies. -- DAVID IN EAST MOLINE, ILL.
DEAR ABBY: Rather than be buried in a cemetery ($$$) or be cremated (my kids objected), I'm donating my body to medical science. I have degenerative arthritis, asthma and other minor conditions. Perhaps by doing this, I can help one of my own or someone else, contribute to medical science and prolong a few lives. -- CAROL IN LONG BEACH, CALIF.
DEAR ABBY: A few reasons why I have requested cremation:
First, due to modern technology, it is now possible to take a portion of one's cremains and turn them into diamondlike gems, one of which I'd like to leave to my dear mother-in-law to be.
Second, because of the proliferation of fine mini-urns -- which may be used as jewelry -- I intend to have a portion of my ashes distributed to a few of the women who have touched my life in various ways over the years. I feel it is not only my right but also my duty to avoid saddling others with the exorbitant costs of today's funeral extravaganzas. -- KIFFIN, THE PRAGMATIST
DEAR ABBY: Cremation has a lot going for it. "Green burials" are becoming more popular. You can be wrapped in a shroud and buried in the ground. No chemicals, everything is biodegradable -- ashes to ashes, dust to dust. -- KEEP IT NATURAL
DEAR ABBY: Being an avid scuba diver, I have instructed my family that I wish to be cremated and my ashes turned into part of the memorial reef by the Neptune Society. This will help to create an underwater reef system not only for fish, but for divers to enjoy. That way, I'll be able to return to nature, give divers a place to enjoy and forever be back in the water that I have always loved. -- SCUBA SHELL
DEAR ABBY: I'm opting for cremation when my time comes. I don't want to be dug up in the future for someone's science project, grave robbers or archaeologists. I have "urned" my rest. -- RALPHEE IN ALABAMA