Find Your Niche

This column is addressed to those with mortal loved ones. Those of you who have none, or whose loved ones are immortal, need read no further.

When your loved one proves beyond question to be mortal assuming cremation has taken place, you will be presented, quite soon, with a small packet of his or her remains. You and your other grieving survivors will then be faced with a problem; what is to be done with this awkward possession? There are several options.

1. Delay is possible. There are people who place the packet on the mantel where it remains indefinitely.

2. Some people hire a pilot and an airplane and have the ashes scattered over the Pacific Ocean. A cold and wet resting place, but to each his own.

3. Others wish to scatter or bury at Yosemite or some other place the deceased loved. Be careful to avoid the Park Ranger; I believe this practice is unlawful.

4. You might say, “I will wait until springtime, and then work them in with the fertilizer I use in the vegetable patch.” I suggest you consult with your real estate agent; the full disclosure rules these days may require that this fact be brought to the attention of potential buyers. This may have an adverse effect upon the market value of the property.

Well, then, what is to be done? Fortunately, the answer is right at hand. Adjacent to the sanctuary, in the most beautiful memorial garden in the county, there is situated a columbarium, which offers a safe, snug, protected, permanent resting place. The faceplate of each niche has engraved upon it the name and dates of the deceased, all done in excellent taste. And if the deceased had a spouse with whom he or she was on speaking terms, that person’s ashes could share the niche, with appropriate changes to the faceplate. And the columbarium supplies a beautiful venue to which survivors can come from time to time in remembrance.

Niches are currently available to be reserved; however, I warn that the supply is limited, and the choice ones may be scarce. I, for instance, have chosen one with a view of the tower. I do not want to start a stampede but suggest you approach the Church management promptly to save your space.

Happy resting for you and yours!

—Jim Ingwersen