In 2008, when my husband and I unveiled the first version of Then Departing Details Workbook—originally known in our family as The Doomsday Book—to our two adult children, one of them asked: “Where do you want to be buried? Or do you want to be buried at all?” Despite all our planning, we were shocked to realize that we had no idea.
After a few months of discussion we settled on cremation, with the ashes secured in a bench overlooking the Rocky Mountains at a cemetery near our home in Calgary, Alberta.
Why a bench? After my parents passed away, whenever I visited their gravesite I wanted to stay and reflect but there was nowhere nearby to sit and I always got uncomfortable standing. At the cemetery we chose, we noticed others reading or writing while sitting on grave markers that were also granite benches. We decided a bench marker was the answer. The top lifts off one of the bench legs in order to inter the ashes.
I share this story to illustrate that planning ahead allows you to take your time and carefully evaluate your many options, sparing your family one less task to deal with when you pass away.