DH and I have been discussing our respective wishes for funerals during the last week.
As he is only 38 and I am only 40, some folk might consider this premature, but it is something that we have actually been discussing at intervals since his father passed away very suddenly last year, only three weeks after we had travelled up to see him. His father hadn`t even reached pension-claiming age (65 in the UK).
DH`s family have all been fans of cremation, as indeed have most of mine, and both my mum and step-father want to be cremated, as does DH`s mum. DH`s initial reaction was that he wanted to be cremated too, but when I held out very firmly for burial, he said he wanted to be with me, so he would be buried too.
I thought this was terribly sweet :-)
This week DH said he has been thinking about it a lot, and wanted to know how much a burial plot would cost and whether we could pick one NOW......so I phoned the local council and spoke to the very helpful burials officer.
To reserve a single plot (which would hold three coffins, with extra space for up to 8 caskets of cremated remains) is £455 if we choose a plot in the current line of excavations in the lawned section. The only drawback is that there are very tight restrictions about the size of headstone, and it would not be possible to have a vault within the plot.
If we want more latitude with regard to having a vault, and a headstone with curbstones around the perimeter of the plot, we would need to have a plot in the older section of the grave yard which would cost £547.
The costs of reserving or buying plots will be going up again in the next financial year starting April 1st 2005; last year the costs rose by 20% and it is expected the price rise will be similar next year. Buy now, save money !!
DH is keen to buy two adjacent plots, so that the children could opt to be buried next to us, as his father did in his family grave, so this will limit our options as the older section is quite full and it might be difficult to find space for two graves. The burials officer will be contacting us next week to arrange a site meeting at the graveyard and show us what is available.
It would be nice to get it sorted, so we will know that the children will not have to worry about the arrangements. I will also be able to go there, sit and contemplate where my body will be awaiting the Resurrection of the Dead, and pray .................
I don`t know what it is about reaching 40, but it sure has raised my awareness of my mortality, and how fleeting our existence truly is..............
Lord, have mercy !