Mar 19

Stories from the Cemetery

(True!) Stories from the Cemetery
Alice died in 1971. Her surviving spouse, Joe, was an Army veteran which allowed burial of Alice in a National Cemetery. Lucky for Joe, he fell in love and married again in 1973. His second wife, Mary, had been a widow for many years. Mary and Joe each had adult children from their first marriages.
Shortly after their marriage, Mary mentioned to Joe’s daughter that she and Joe had decided they would each be buried with their first spouse. Mary thought this would make it easier for all of the kids. Apparently, Mary never mentioned this to her own children.
Joe died in 1986. Mary buried Joe with Alice in the National Cemetery. The face of the headstone contained both Alice and Joe’s names and dates of their lives. Mary survived Joe for nearly thirteen years but suffered from dementia during the last years of her life. This made it impossible to have a meaningful conversation with her to determine her preferred final resting place.
At Mary’s funeral, Joe’s children were taken by surprise to discover that, without their knowledge, Mary was going to be buried with Alice and Joe. Rather than a duplex, the grave was now a triplex! The National Cemetery was not required to notify the children of Alice and Joe that another person had joined their parents.
A new headstone was installed. The front has Joe’s name and dates of birth and death. The back of the headstone has a heading “Wives” and lists the names and respective dates for Alice and Mary. It is unlikely the two ladies ever met in life but their remains now repose together for eternity.
The moral of this story: Talk to your family now and let them know your wishes regarding disposition of your remains.

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