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In Our World

Separation Anxiety

Everyone knows that divorce is a common theme in our world these days. Witness of the phrase starter marriage that has worked its way into our vocabularies. What has got me puzzled lately is how all the details work out down the road. Life is confusing enough when…

Everyone knows that divorce is a common theme in our world these days. Witness of the phrase starter marriage that has worked its way into our vocabularies.

What has got me puzzled lately is how all the details work out down the road. Life is confusing enough when you get a couple of siblings together to divvy up the family jewels (figuratively speaking, I hope). What happens when you bring the stepbrothers and in-laws into the mix?

How about burial plots? It’s hard enough to share custody while the parents are alive. What happens when they’re gone? Does everyone in this extended family get their own section of the graveyard? Is a whole cemetary dedicated to those of you do this time after time?

My grandmother passed away not long ago, and I’m trying to figure out how these things work. I never knew her husband (my grandfather), as he died before I was born. She never remarried, so there really weren’t too many complications, as far as that goes. But it was 30-odd years before my grandmother died (after my grandfather passed). In many cases, that would have resulted in at least one more wedding.

For instance, my grandmother on the other side died several years ago. Her husband, my grandfather, has since remarried. As I understand it, this is at least his third (he is actually my mother’s stepfather). I think that this grandmother will be buried next to her husband – her first, and my mother’s birth father, who died while my mom was young. But what about my (step-)grandfather? They were together for forty years or more. Will he be buried on my grandmother’s other side? What about his new wife (or his prior one)? What about the children?

I’m not making a judgment here – I’m just curious.