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My husband was a widower when I met him. His first wife did not want him to be with another woman (even though he was only 44 at her time of death) and she insisted on getting a joint burial plot with both of their names and birth dates and her deceased date. My husband is now 71 and we have been together for 25 years (married 20).
I should state that I do not care where my husband is placed when he passes. I only care that we have spent all of our time very happy while he is alive.
However, he has decided to be cremated (like me) and wants to be with me in a spot that we choose together.
Should we just leave his half of the burial plot empty ? or bury his single brother there and change name and date(but he didn't get along with first wife)? or maybe I should just bury husband with first wife?
If I go first, this will not be a problem because my husband can decide!

Reminds me of the old story told by Mickey Mantel....
since he and his wife had homes in multiple states, she wanted to know where he wanted to be buried...his reply..."surprise me"
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jacobsonbob Sep 20, 2019
LOL, love it; thanks!
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My father passed unexpectedly 44 years ago, when both of my parents were in their 30s. My mom bought a double plot and had her name and DOB engraved with date of death, of course, empty.

Fast forward 20 years and mom finally remarries. Step dad passed ten years ago. He was cremated and lives in his urn in her bedroom. When mom passes, we will cremate her, open her side of the grave, and place them both inside. We will add an additional marker or engraving to memorialize step dad.
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Psyclinz Sep 20, 2019
Wow, that is such a lovely solution! My husband and I have been thinking about purchasing a double plot, but we have wondered what would happen if the survivor of us met someone else... what to do, what to do... that could be a difficult decision. Now we know what we would do, thank you for posting :)
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I would just leave the plot empty. My Uncle passed away at 45 and he and his wife had a 4 place plot with her parents (his in-laws). She remarried and is now buried someplace else with her 2nd husband. So my uncle is now next to an empty plot, with the ex-in-laws. Sigh. I’ve buried some of my moms ashes next to him so he wouldn't be “alone”. Ha. It might be nice to keep it empty in case it comes in handy in the future.
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New Orleans has family plots. There are no limits on how many people can be buried there. We are situated below sea level so we have above ground graves. New Orleans has a French and Spanish history and our cemeteries are patterned after some in France.

At our family plot that my grandfather bought it costs us $2000 to open the grave to bury my brother’s ashes. But any relative can be buried there forever. If relatives die close together they will remove them from the casket and place the bones in a bag to make room for a new casket. That’s what I was told by the office staff. My brother was in an urn because he was cremated and daddy died years before.

Cemeteries are very sacred here. We have a huge Catholic community and on All Saints Day the cemeteries are packed with people. The florist do well here.

Many families even have picnics on the grounds. Children play in the cemetery. I went to the cemetery often as a child. It’s common in New Orleans.

We have unique cemeteries. Some are very beautiful such as Lake Lawn Metairie Cemetery. Anne Rice’s husband is buried there and other famous people.
His tomb is amazing, with stained glass windows. God knows how much was spent on his resting place. The wealthy people here have elaborate graves and mausoleums. They are like small homes, some even have wrought iron gates. Some are built like pyramids. Huge statues, etc. As I said, unique.

Whenever I have seen cemeteries elsewhere with a below ground grave and a simple headstone it seems so plain to me because ours are even referred to as ‘Cities of the Dead.’ They are very beautiful.

St. Louis No. 1, the oldest cemetery has interesting people buried there such as Marie Laveau, Creole Queen of Voodoo.

The cemetery tours here are very popular. Not all of our cemeteries are in safe neighborhoods so it’s better to take a tour if you don’t know our city.

New Orleans has a culture of it’s own, definitely not ‘anywhere USA.’ Many claim it’s very haunted. Some of the plantation homes in Louisiana have cemeteries on the grounds.
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jacobsonbob Sep 21, 2019
Thanks; I was aware of some of this but not some of the finer points. I've seen the above-ground graves when in southern Louisiana and some nearby areas.

I've also noticed that some cemeteries are excellent botanical gardens--in fact, sometimes better than parks specifically labeled as botanical gardens (or arboreta).
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Any reason to think the single brother will be the first to go? Maybe your husband could “offer” him the burial plot? Otherwise I personally wouldn’t worry about the plot. Your husband made his wishes known-he wants to be with you, so if brother doesn’t want the empty plot, i’d not worry about it :)
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Thanks! I guess maybe just leaving it empty is a good idea. I honestly hadn’t really thought of that for some reason. I am happy that no one said that I should bury him with his first wife, although personally I think that would be nice, but now I don’t feel guilty if I don’t. Thank you everyone for your thoughts. It is a engraved gravestone and not a plaque so I am thinking that a name change might be tricky.
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jacobsonbob Sep 20, 2019
I suppose a plaque could be put over the engraved part if necessary.
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Again while shaking the family tree I came across several situations where the husband was a Veteran and he was buried in a National cemetery, while the wife was buried elsewhere, usually in the same cemetery as her parents and siblings.... yet her late husband's name, date of birth/death was on the double headstone at her grave-site.
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KathyT124 Sep 22, 2019
My father's ashes are interred at a National Cemetery. There are many plaques there that indicate that a spouse's ashes are placed with the veteran's (both names and dates on the plaque.) This is what my mother wants done in the future. I’m not sure about physical burials, though.
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The fact that you dad wants to be cremated can simplify things. Ashes can be separated. My mom died recently and we buried some of her cremains in a beautiful box beside my dad and my brother. Some we took to a beloved mountain retreat and planted with a tree and some will go to her beloved garden. And we will keep a little bit with us. So your dad could actually be buried with both his wives in two different places.
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PowerOf3 Sep 22, 2019
I think that’s is a great solution. I think it was selfish of her to do but at some point they did love each other. Can you ask if he’s ok with her wishes on a small scale? Personally I’d want the lions share and while I don’t love the idea of sharing him, it could be a desecration of her last wishes so if you can give her a little, I think you’ll have a more clear conscience when it’s time. It’s truly up to him, and of course you’ll be fabulous about his decision no matter what!
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My parents had 4 plots. They were buried in two, my sister in one and my Aunt in another. I don't remember any problem with the cemetery doing this. But, you might call them and see how to handle it. You may be able to have the plaque changed instead of replacing.
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I too married a widower and I posed your question to my DH early in our relationship. I had no problem with his being buried with his first wife.

However, he didn't want to be buried with her and we wound up purchasing a plot for both of us and I purchased a headstone years before he passed with our information on it, names, dates of birth and date of our marriage.

Before he passed, he told me to go ahead and cremate him and he gave me permission not to have a wake or a funeral. At the moment, he is on my hearth awaiting my decision of what I want to do with the ashes. I chose The Living Urn and planted a tree, he was supposed to be under the tree but for some reason, I decided not to do that - and the tree died! The Living Urn sent me a replacement tree and if it survives, I can still put my DH's ashes there. But since I have the plot, I can also put him in the cemetery.

There is no law stating that a burial plot must be used. I did put DH's date of death on our headstone and he has his Veteran's Plaque placed at the cemetery - but the grave is still empty.

You don't have to do anything with the existing plot. Follow your heart. It's paid for, owes you nothing, don't let a piece of ground get you down.
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elaineSC Sep 22, 2019
I want to be in a mausoleum. My husband said to cremate him and keep his urn with me and have his urn “buried” with me in the mausoleum. When my mother passed, I asked the lady at the mortuary if the cemetery folks would allow me to have my husbands urn placed with me and she said absolutely! So that is our plan if he goes first. I don’t want to be cremated so we both may need to be side by side in the mausoleum.
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