Thursday, December 11, 2008

Spreading Ashes of the Deceased

Q - My wife and I recently had our wills done and both of us wish to be cremated upon our deaths. However, my wife now has told me she wants her ashes scattered somewhere because she says we are "only ashes" after death. I told her I would respect her wishes concerning cremation but that I cannot "scatter" her ashes since it is contrary to the teachings of our shared Catholic faith. What can I do to convince her of the sacredness of the human body?

A - Thanks for the question. I think you can explain the teachings of the Church to her, tell her (calmly) your issues with it, and then discuss it with her. If she believes that our bodies have no meaning after death, then she doesn't understand a Christian meaning of our bodies. Also, I don't understand why she would care what happens with her remains, because she believes them to have no meaning after death, when you do. Therefore, it seems to me, the logical conclusion would be the one that finds more meaning, (you who are still alive) would be the one to choose what happens.

If you can't come to an agreement I suggest you find a good and wise priest to discuss it with.

If you want to read what I have written previously about the Church's teachings on cremation, you can find it here and here.

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