When my mother died, a close family friend presented us with a letter from my mother which she had written for us to read when she died. It was a very moving letter. She told us how much she loved us, how proud she was of us, and shared some personal thoughts. She also mentioned that she didn’t want to be a burden, and asked to be cremated with her ashes scattered.
My brother Jon wanted to follow her wishes since we don’t have much money.
I was shocked at my mother’s request and begged my brother not to do it. I pointed out that my mother only chose cremation to save money and to not be a burden. But I wanted a grave to visit on Mother’s Day. I didn’t want her cremated! It isn’t a burden at all to me. She would certainly have abided by my wishes… if only we had discussed it!
I offered to pay for a burial but, armed with our mom’s letter, Jon had mom cremated. So not only did I lose my mother… in a sense I also lost my brother – because our relationship has never been the same since.
I have asked myself many times since: "Would Mom have preferred to "burden" me, had she realized my profound sense of loss or the family rift that continues?"