It is not easy to explain my situation to my friends and family but I’m going to try. We were married forty-five years. We have two grown children who have their own families. In our seven-year struggle with cancer, we tried everything the doctors recommended, nothing turned the tide for us. So one of the last things my husband wanted to do was to make his final arrangements. It was something he could do for me. He insisted that he would make sure that burying him would not leave me in debt.


Imagine, if you can, calling the funeral home and making an appointment for my husband to talk to someone about having his ashes put in an oatmeal box. His thinking was that then I could use a posthole digger to make a round hole and bury him in the back yard. Never underestimate the professionalism of the people who help us bury our loved ones. The man I dealt with never missed a beat when I asked:

“Can you come and talk to my husband about being buried in an oatmeal box?”

“Yes mam, would three o’clock work for him?”


While Joe, who was lucid and calm explained his wishes, the man was kind, courteous, and attentive wondering, I’m sure, about whether this was a joke. My husband was a language professor, he taught for forty-one years, his post retirement job was working in the big box store deli as ‘Joe, the Deliman.’ Joe insisted that no obituary notice be posted, so I’m posting this to my facebook page and website instead.


When our professional heard this and after he reassured my daughter and son that their father’s ashes could be spread around trees at a location to be decided later, he suggested we go by the deli and pick up a meat tray and have a picnic. We pick up his ashes in something fun, like an ice cream container. So there you have it. At a time, in the future, when I can get everyone together, we will have a memorial picnic and scatter his ashes. Joe was delighted with this scenario. My family was satisfied that this is what dad wanted, so we will proceed.


There will be some kind of memorial after we gather our wits. My husband had the gift of languages, a wicked sense of humor, an excellent sense of justice, and was the kindest and most loving man you could meet. The Lord after lending him to us for eighty-three years has taken him back.

About Mary T Kincaid

Writer of fiction and non-fiction for children of all ages. Love the mental age where the rules of logic are suspended and there is a willingness to enter the story world no matter what your physical age.

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