This is kind of morbid. I’m hoping a droll title will help.
Junkii and I discussed our wills over the weekend; a discussion that led us naturally towards talk of what we want to happen to us after we die. We decided we both want to be cremated.
Having grown up in a Buddhist culture, cremation was always the most likely candidate for Junkii. For me? Not so much.
Ever since I was old enough to know about death and the various options for…ahem… disposing of our remains, I had been horrified at the prospect of being burnt. I had some misguided notion that I’d somehow feel the flames and it would be torturous.
Much better, it seemed to my young mind, to be stuffed in a box in the cold ground to be eaten gradually by worms. No excruciating pain in that, apparently.
But that’s also what I grew up with – all my relatives were buried when they died. I don’t think I’ve ever known of a relative who was cremated. I suppose there’s comfort in familiarity.
But I’ve had a few years to get more familiar with cremation – both in theory (all of my immediate family, as far as I know, have made up their minds to be cremated when they die) and in practice (I’ve seen how well taken care of Junkii’s brother was, following his tragic death last year) – and I’m more comfortable with it now. I’ve decided that it’s the right path for me, as well.
So we’re agreed on HOW we’re to be stored… it remained only to agree on WHERE.
We don’t have children and won’t likely have a lot of visitors once we’re gone, so there’s really no reason we need to be tied to any place in particular. But we do want a “home”…we don’t want to be scattered somewhere; that just seems so ethereal. Ideally we’d like to be kept together; there’s a comfort in life to think we might be placed together once we die. (See? Morbid!)
I really have no stake in where that resting place is. It’s not critically important to me. Junkii, on the other hand, would like to return to his hometown in Malaysia, to be placed with (or at least near) his family’s remains. And that’s absolutely fine by me. In fact, I quite like the idea. I love Junkii’s family dearly.
So, next steps? On our next trip to Malaysia, we’ll need to see about arranging space in an urn on a shelf in Ipoh. Then it’ll be a matter of working with our lawyer to be clear in our will what’s to happen to us when we die. Maybe we’ll have some red tape to cut through in terms of being laid to rest in another country – but I’m sure it’s nothing we can’t sort through.
It’s kind of nice to have the matter settled. Not that we’re planning on dying soon, but it’s oddly calming to have a clear plan. Now we can get back to enjoying friends, family, travel, work, play, love, food, and all the myriad wonderful things about life!