My wife does not want to be buried with me

After 15 years of marriage, I finally talked about the practical aspects of death. To me, it goes without saying that husband and wife are normally buried together. Not to my wife. She says that she’d rather be on her own, or possibly with her sister, 500 miles away.

We don’t plan to die anytime soon… and statistical chances are that we die more or less at the same time, since my wife is 7 years older than me.

I would understand and accept that, if one of us dies early and the other one remarries, we may be separated in death. But if we get old together, it seems normal that husband and wife are buried together.

Probably the fact that neither of us has children plays a role in this.

I will talk about it to our priest, but wanted some opinions here first…

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In the US husbands and wives are usually buried next to one another. I suppose that I can understand your concern, but I don’t personally believe that it should be something that keeps you up at night. Neither of you will actually be in the ground whether you’re buried side-by-side or at different locations across the country.

I can understand that is hurtful. Have you quietly told her that it seems like rejection?..but perhaps don’t say much, as time may alter her mind.
May God heal anything in your relationship that is in any way divisive as you continue to be thoughtful and kind and appreciate what you do share.

I had a family friend whose husband died about a decade ago. The lady herself died last year. One of her children wrote us that his remains had been relocated to be buried next to her, and mentioned that this had not been her wish.

My first thought was that her not wanting to be buried with him was a little odd. My second thought was ‘well, she was very loyal to him in life, what does it matter where she wants to be buried?’

To the OP, perhaps talk to your wife about why she feels this way. Perhaps it was a dying wish of her sister’s, or perhaps she’s thinking of what would be easiest for family (say if her family is a much larger one than yours?)

And perhaps think about WHY you have this expectation that you’ll be buried together and why it is so important to you? And why are you talking to a priest about it? It’s not like there’s any sin or other spiritual dimension involved in this sort of difference of opinion, surely.

Don’t worry my friend. Your wife and you will be together in heaven. I understand it hurts but as I wrote,don’t worry. A grave is a hole in the ground and nothing more. Our loved ones are not there,they are in heaven,and who ever will travel first is not far away,only the distance of a thought.

I found out when my sister died that she and my other sister had made a pact to be burried together.

Neither had shared this with me or husbands but I do not doubt it.

This sort of thing predates you and goes as deep as their blood.

Do not be hurt, merely see it as a symbol of your wife’s deep loyalty and committment. It is now all yours, but the grave was spoken for long before you.

As long as you are both united in life,sharing the same life and being “of one heart and one mind” here and now—do not worry about tomorrow!! Our Lord said 'Let the dead bury the dead"—it might seem a little harsh ;but your marriage vows to each other were “until death do us part”!
My next door neighbours wife also does not wish to share the same grave as her husband.Try not to make a big issue of it—you might die first,well before your wife and if that is the case, I can guarantee that you will not give a hoot where your body will be buried.As long as you die in the state of grace, that is all that you need to be concerned about! What if you die soon and your wife remarries?All your worries will have been useless,I wonder if it is the fact that you have lost control of your wife on this issue—here is her response to your domination,she has the upper hand here,has she not?

My husband and I have talked about this very subject at length. He grew up mostly in England and that is where his grandfather is buried (his mother was cremated and unfortunately her ashes were scattered…). I grew up in Colorado and my mother is buried in a cemetery on the west side of Denver. When my mother passed, my father bought 2 plots but he eventually remarried and converted to Baptist and is buried in his family’s cemetery in Missouri. So there is one unused plot in Denver.

We live in Houston TX but other than working here, and having our kids here, we have no real ties to this area. When one is buried, that is where the family goes to remember one, so when our kids eventually move away, why would they want to come back here to a cemetery?

It is difficult to puzzle all this out, but I told my husband that I think being next to my mom is fine with me. That plot can hold up to 5 cremation urns, according to the cemetery. Denver is a nice place to visit so if the kids want to be there, they can get a flight. Otherwise, it’s only details. Oh, and hubby’s situation is even more difficult since it’s almost impossible to get burial space in London…but perhaps an urn will be better. He talked about his ashes being scattered but now I know that is not what Catholics do, so somehow, we need to find a place for his remains.

It’s never comfortable to talk about death, but don’t get too insulted, as the others have said, there are family ties and locations to consider too. Do be honest with your wife and tell her you’d like to have a plot with her. I am one who likes to plan ahead so that my dear ones won’t have to worry about my wishes in case I go suddenly. I’ve already told my older son about my funeral reception or memorial or whatever and my choice of music – blast it out because I want people to be happy, not crying with Vivaldi or something. Bleh - I’m planning to be in the dance section of Heaven…


Thank you for the :heart: and support, brothers and sisters :slight_smile: . I actually did not know what is the Church’s position on this; so now I understand a bit better and I am a bit more relaxed. Also there are some good theories here like e.g. maybe both sisters had a pact, an idea that had not crossed my mind.

I guess this episode only reminds me: never assume.

ACK! I just noticed I wrote that hubby’s MOTHER had been cremated!!! It was his GRANDMOTHER, his mum is still alive and well !!! Sorry for the error.

Which is she saying?
a) My wish is to be buried at Site A, 500 miles from here, with or without you (because that is where my family is, or the place I feel is “home”, or whatever)
b) I don’t care where I’m buried, as long as it is 500 miles from whatever cemetery you choose.
c) Please do not bury my remains in the same cemetery with your parents, who never liked me or anywhere else near this town, where I only moved to make you happy (or some other personal problem with your site of choice)

If it is (b), that deserves immediate further discussion. Happily married people do not hold sentiments like that. Even if it is ©, while she may never change her mind about where to be buried, she may need some help in letting go of some resentments towards your family, she may be harboring a deep wish to move that you aren’t aware of, or the like. That deserves attention.

If it is (a)–and I’m guessing it is–then you have some choices:
a) Decide that it is more important that you be buried with her than exactly where you are buried, and agree to buy two plots (or three, or whatever is required to accomodate her sister) at her site of choice.
b) Figure that it will not matter after you die whether your earthly remains are buried next to your wife’s, and decide that it is more important to be buried at your own cemetery of choice or your “home turf”, and stipulate where you are each to be buried in your will.
c) Opt for cremation, and stipulate in your will that her remains and yours are to be moved to your mutual site of choice after you are both gone and neither can visit the temporary gravesite of the other (which would be in a columbarium in a local cemetery). I suggest cremation because it is unduly difficult and sometimes not even practically possible to disinter, move, and reinter full-sized caskets many years after burial.
d) Decide to wait for the time to come and let the survivor do whatever he or she sees fit with the remains of the first of you to die.

At any rate, I think it is a good idea to talk to your pastor about how you might discuss the matter further with your wife.

Let’s just pray she doesn’t learn that you’ve already put her in her grave. :stuck_out_tongue:

Yeah, this issue is highly personal and wishes are going to vary wildly from couple to couple. As long as she’s giving you a legitimate reason for her burial choices, I say respect it. If she’s telling you that she wants to be buried as far away from you as she can get, yeah I’d say you’ve got bigger problems than burial choices.:slight_smile:


Why the **** would you be talking about death and burial in the first place!? :eek:

People who talk about and make plans for death and burial are mature, responsible adults who don’t want to leave our descendants with an expensive, emotionally-charged mess on their hands after we’ve passed from this world. It’s our final gift.


So you don’t stick your family with the decision with no idea what you would have wanted.

Why the :eek: about talking about death? It’s not as if this is an “iffy” proposition. It’s going to happen, and it is easier on the family if the deceased did some of the decision-making ahead of time. It is usually less expensive, as well, because families who don’t know tend to overspend in order to be on the safe side.

Extremely helpful; thank you! It’s either a) or b). No parents are involved.

Because I believe in Eternal Life.

Because, as our parish priest reminds us,

“No one gets out of here alive.”


May as well try to get as much organized ahead of time, so our relations won’t be in shock and trying to plan for our wishes on top of grieving.

You must be young and haven’t lost anyone yet. Once you go through it a few times, you get a little more philosophical about it.

Well, life is terminal, and no one has survived long term yet! Why WOULDN’T you talk about it with your spouse? The mature, responsible thing to do is plan for your death. This includes buying life insurance to minimally cover funeral expenses or even create a cushion of money for your surviving family members, creating a will, estate planning to minimize what the government gets, funeral planning, and so forth.

When my DH died, he had a will in place, along with life insurance and directives stating what he wished to happen. However, we had not purchased funeral plots, so a day after he died, I had to choose burial plots. Most of what he wanted happened! :wink: (I over-rode his explicitly stated demand to not have a funeral mass).

When my mother died, she had everything planned right down to what hymns she wanted to be sung at her funeral. She had instructions where she wanted memorial money to go to. She wanted to be cremated, and she wanted a visitation.

It makes it far easier on those left behind. It is a mature, responsible thing to discuss.

My first though was maybe your wife just ins’t comfortable talking about this and thus is not really thinking things through. I understand wanting to be burried with your spouse, but I also understand that is NOT an easy topic for some to discuss.


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