My older sister drove. I sat in the front passenger seat, sometimes cradling my mother, sometimes resting her on the floorboard at my feet. It wasn’t a long drive, but it felt forever.
In the fall after Mom’s death in August of 2013, we took her ashes to the Sacramento Valley National Cemetery, located between Sacramento and San Francisco along the Interstate 80 corridor. Her ashes would be buried beside her husband’s ashes. Dad, who’d voluntarily joined the Army Air Corps before Pearl Harbor, had been in the ground at the military cemetery since mid-2012.
As a young adult I had start-and-stop chats with Dad about cremation. At first, he was against it. He was raised on conservative Christian values, which included a belief that cremation wasn’t an acceptable option. When, as the Biblical book of Revelation promised, believers would be raised from their graves, you better have a body available for the divine action. Somewhere along the line, Dad changed his mind. I have no idea when or why. Maybe Mom influenced him. Maybe—since struggling through the “Great Depression” was a lasting influence on all his financial decisions—he realized cremation could save a few bucks (even after death).
What about you?
Will you be buried or cremated? Or have you avoided thinking about that? If you’re Muslim, there is no discussion. The Islamic faith, like the Eastern Orthodox (a Christian church) and Orthodox Judaism, doesn’t believe in cremation. What do you believe? Read More →by