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Topic Cremation or burial? Go to previous topic Go to next topic Go to higher level

By jcoff012 On 2016.10.26 16:36
Carl and I have been discussing his final days (while he is lucid and can make decisions regarding his own life choices).

He wants cremation. I do not. I told him in a perfect marriage, I would follow through with his wishes, but in this case, I strongly disagree with his choice. I know, I know. It is HIS decision, but I have loved this man over 51 years and we will celebrate our 50th anniversary in June...the thought of doing this makes me cringe.

Please offer opinions, as I need to think about this and discuss this while he can.

By umajane On 2016.10.26 17:26
Dear Jane,
I am still hanging around this site even though it is 3 months since Clay has passed away.
Clay has been cremated and we will scatter his ashes in the ocean on his birthday where he used to go diving. These were his wishes and I totally agreed with him..To me the ashes or grave site is not important...He is in my heart and with me everyday in some way.
His children are also in total agreement with their Dad and myself. Luckily for us it was an easy decision because we discussed this often. I'm glad you are discussing this for clarity... It's all so sad to think about.

By flowers12 On 2016.10.26 18:29
This is a difficult topic to discuss for sure. I personally want to be cremated and my hubby with PD isn't sure. My family has cremation niches at a beautiful cemetery memorial building. I'm not sure what to do if my hubby decides to be buried because I want us to be together. I just don't want to think about this but I know I have to.

By jcoff012 On 2016.10.26 20:15
Sweet Jane, so nice to hear from you. Yes, this is a difficult topic when we have different life experiences.

Our daughter is buried in Modesto, but we did not buy adjoining plots because we knew we were moving to Northern California. I think Carl has decided that cremation is best because of finances (although we have no problems), but his practical mind IS still processing this.

I realize that this is a difficult topic and maybe I am trying to cope with something l have never had to face. I have lived a sheltered life, in many ways, I think, as I have never known anyone who has been cremated.

Jane, I hope you are doing as well as can be expected. Bless you.

By mylove On 2016.10.26 22:25
I think your mileage may vary based on your religion or belief system. Everyone I know has been or will be cremated, with the exception of my great grandparents, who were from a different time and Catholic. And that was due to my great grandmothers wishes, not her husband's - he wanted to be cremated and went first, but she exerted her will over his body and so it went. But I digress.

Ben and I have agreed to do each other's wishes, no matter what. That's what comforts both of us - faith that the person who we trust in all matters has our back, in the same way we trust each other to make medical decisions. I think if it were me I would opt to follow his lead if it meant a great deal to him, but that's just me.

After all...once you're gone, your body is just the wrapping and not the person anymore. It's very good to discuss now...and also difficult in the same way all the rest of the end of life decisions are. For us, surprisingly - this one was at least far easier than the conversation about where the "unplug me" line lies.

By jcoff012 On 2016.10.27 18:08
Funny what life gives us as far as "life decisions". I fully understand you, Michelle. Thanks for the input, you gave me a different slant.

As you and others have discussed my original post, as I said, this is very new to me, so it is difficult. You are 100% right---Carl trusts me to do as he wants. I guess that is why I tossed this out there...my indecision is my own, I KNOW what *he* wants.

As for the 'pull the plug' decision, let me share this with you and others. As most of you know, we lost our first born, our daughter, when she was 15. She was hit by a car in front of her high school on the second day of her sophomore year...but, she lived on life support for 3 days. We had to make the decision to turn off the respirator. But, I want to assure you all, when the time comes, it is NOT a difficult decision...it was a simple, loving one, and one we did not really discuss because a simple look at her, then each other, and we knew it was the right thing to do. When the time comes and you have watched your loved one slowly leave you, you know that they are only 'alive' because of the machines, so you *want* them to have peace. Turning off the machines meant giving her
eternal rest, freedom from machines, and pain.
I promise you, it will give you a peace beyond any you will know.

Do I wish we did not have to face this? Of course. But, in hindsight, I know she would not have wanted to stay hooked up to machines. As her beautiful doctor told us, "She is no longer with us. I could connect a football to the machines and you would see the inward and outward movement and it would look like it was 'breathing'". I have never forgotten that statement. The decision was simple. We were able to donate her kidneys and that was, again, she would have wanted.

I suppose if I believe this, the decision for cremation should be his and I should respect it. I appreciate any and all input. Thank you and anyone else who cares to add anything to the discussion. Hugs.

By mylove On 2016.10.28 09:01
Jane, you are the sweetest and most considerate person in the world, and i know you and Carl have each other's backs in all things. In the end, that's just one of those things that is an intensely personal preference and neither option outweighs the other except to the people involved. Maybe it's worth exploring the reasons behind why each of you is choosing a different option, and some insight and common ground can be found.

I'm sorry to have reminded you of sad things, but I appreciate your words of wisdom from having walked there. I hope when our times come that it's always so clear cut (but not easy....heaven knows it's never easy). We agree on the "in hospital on machines with no hope of recovery" line, we agree on what he wants done as far as remains, but he's repeatedly expressed that he doesn't want to continue to live if he has to use a wheelchair or be assisted in any way, so that is the part I'm struggling with. Perhaps a conversation for another thread.

Hugs, dear Jane. None of this is simple, is it?

By jcoff012 On 2016.10.28 15:15
Michelle, Ben's "not being assisted in any way" is a topic you and I have discussed in the past, but now that the PD is progressing, perhaps these end of life decisions truly need to be brought out into the open.

Ben is the one who is suffering, so we have to listen with an open heart. But, I truly think that many of these decisions ARE based on religion and religious beliefs. While I see that we did our best when we decided to turn off the respirator, I cannot sit here and say that I agree with the decision to end life in other ways. Again, this goes back to my belief in God and in the afterlife. "Thou shalt not kill" is a commandment I was taught that applies to oneself.

That said, as YOU said earlier, it is a deeply personal decision. What is right for one may not be acceptable to another.

I have said more than once that the caregiver is just that...*we* are not the PWP...we truly have no idea what PD does to the mind and soul. We only experience PD from our side. As much as we try, try to help, try to ease the journey...we are not the PWP.

I am selfish. I want Carl with me, no matter what. He keeps telling me I am strong, but he makes me that way. We have been together over 51 years, from being in high school to retirement, and I cannot imagine my life without him in it. So, for me, taking that life or being part of his leaving is not even under consideration. I want him to want to be with us all as long as he is alive.

Again, I DO see this from Ben's point of view...as a man, and he does not want to be a burden to you, others, or himself. When you do discuss this, however, tell him that I told you that we cherished every moment of Carl's Mom's existence...she was only in a wheelchair for transport in the last year of 22+ years with PD and she agreed to it to make it easier for all of the family to come see her and have her in all the various rooms of their home. It was wonderful to share meals, then go into the living room, etc...

Again, all of these choices are ones we all must face. We need to be strong when we think we cannot. But, some of this will seem "right" when the time comes.

Never apologize for the sad times...we have too many funny, loving times that outweigh the bad! Love you, Sweetie!

By carman96 On 2016.10.30 07:02
Umajane, it's good to hear from you. Sounds very nice to have Clay's ashes spread where he loved to dive, and on his birthday. With my mom, we waited until her birthday and buried her ashes next to her granddaughter who died at 6 months.
My Dad had originally thought he wanted his ashes spread at his favorite fishing spot, but changed his mind and wanted to be next to my mom. We spread my brother's ashes off the pier at Seacliff where he had loved to fish as a kid.
To Jane #1. My mother in law wanted a full blown burial with the nice casket and everything. It was ridiculously expensive. It was $800 just to take the casket to the church for the rosary the night before, then bring it back the next day. She was buried right after the mass, with the funeral procession and all that. The funeral cost over $10,000. But it's what she wanted!
With my mom we had a nice memorial service at her church, no casket or burial. We had the family gather months later to bury her ashes. It all cost about $1000. That's what she wanted.
It's good that you are talking about it now, so the one that is left behind knows what to do.

By jcoff012 On 2016.10.30 13:39
Sounds like Carl...Mr. Practical...spend the money on the kids and grandkids...

This is truly a difficult subject...perhaps after more discussion, it will be easier...hmmm...

By makrivah On 2016.10.30 14:29
My husband has made it very VERY definitive. He wants cremation and then inurnment at Arlington National Cemetery Columbarium as close as possible to where his father is inurned. His Dad served in WWII, including D-Day. He lived to 89 with many health issues, some a direct result of his military service. My husband was in Vietnam where he was exposed to Agent Orange, the presumptive cause of his Parkinson's. I've checked the Arlington regulations and he is eligible for this without question. He is currently 90% service related disabled. His physical symptoms are progressing. His cognition is crumbling rapidly.

Have I ever mentioned how I hate this disease? Indeed I do!

By DBKinNC On 2016.10.30 15:16
This is indeed a difficult subject. A few days ago I posted here about MedCure, which is information our Hospice team presented to us. We made the decision to go that route. It's just good to have it behind us.


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