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To feel weird about stranger wanting to put dead wife's ashes in my garden?

(603 Posts)
Dottie39 Wed 08-Feb-17 20:16:32

We bought our house 5 years ago. At viewing elderly couple told us they had lived here 50 years, since early 60s and had brought four children up here and they seemed like it was a slightly reluctant sale.
Anyway, fast forward to this morning when I get a call from the gentleman to inform me his wife passed away last month and on her deathbed had asked to be returned to our house. He asked if we would mind if he and the children had a little ceremony and scattered her ashes in the garden.

I feel like we can't refuse as so sad and obviously the house holds a lifetime of memories for them. But... I don't know, it just feels a little weird, I feel like we would be intruding in our own home to be here so would have to leave them here. AIBU to feel weird? I really want to refuse but it feels so heartless to do so!

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Wed 08-Feb-17 20:17:37

The ashes wouldn't bother me at all, the worry that they would keep making a pilgrimage to my garden in the future would.

Bailey101 Wed 08-Feb-17 20:18:03

No idea what you should do, but I would feel the same. What an awkward position to be in!

TheSpottedZebra Wed 08-Feb-17 20:19:07

Ahh, I get that it seems odd. But it would be a lovely thing to do (ie to let them).
And the ashes would blow away anyway...

Can you see the positive and a) think of how his pain would be eased, a bit, by fulfilling her wishes, and b) think of how happy they must have been there?

greenmidgetgems Wed 08-Feb-17 20:19:36

Understand why you feel uncomfortable but not sure how you can refuse without seeming heartless.

Not sure how you would handle it.

TheSpottedZebra Wed 08-Feb-17 20:20:09

You wouldn't have to leave! They might be happy knowing that it is still a home, not just a house, IYSWIM.

Schmoozer Wed 08-Feb-17 20:20:13

I'd let them, it's obviously big deal to them, surely cannot inconvenience you so much ??

DownHereInTheHorridHouse Wed 08-Feb-17 20:20:26

I would let him do this in a flash. Poor soul sad. Even if he does want to come back and visit, wouldn't that be a kind thing to do too? You could make such a difference here, and perhaps help to settle him and his family at an awful time - imagine how much it took for him to even ask you?

picklemepopcorn Wed 08-Feb-17 20:21:00

Gently point out that he wouldn't be able to visit her, and would that worry him?
Perhaps say you'd be uncomfortable explaining to your DCs.
I'd prefer them buried rather than scattered. In a little hole. I don't mind them being there, but want them under rather than flying about.

CocoLoco87 Wed 08-Feb-17 20:21:39

But they won't be able to visit the garden once this is done (surely?!). Wouldn't they be better to scatter them somewhere where, say in a year's time, they can reconvene to remember her?

Ilovecaindingle Wed 08-Feb-17 20:22:24

No disrespect intended but are you expected to put on some sort of spread? Maybe you could agree to be out so be spared from witnessing what is going on in your garden? Then maybe it won't be etched in your memory and spoil the enjoyment of your garden?

ElspethFlashman Wed 08-Feb-17 20:22:30

It wouldn't bother me at all but then I grew up next to a graveyard, lol.

I definitely don't think you can refuse.

The awkward part would be do you invite them in for a cup of tea afterwards? Or tell them that you'll absent yourselves for an hour or two to give them privacy in the garden for their ceremony?

pinkish Wed 08-Feb-17 20:22:31

Oh goodness. I can see why it feels awkward but please please say yes. A relative of mine was scattered in the grounds of a former home. It was so special.

They are part of the history of the house.

Dottie39 Wed 08-Feb-17 20:22:54

Not an inconvenience as such, just feels slightly odd, like its not our home for a while. I can't explain it fully, but it does make me very uncomfortable.
We will most likely let them do it, as don't think I can live with myself turning them down, but I hate that we feel emotionally over a barrel to do something in our own home that we don't really want to!
Hate this!

stopfuckingshoutingatme Wed 08-Feb-17 20:23:17

What pickle said

I must say I would never have the guts to ask ! But seeing as they did .....

fc301 Wed 08-Feb-17 20:23:21

YANBU it's bad enough when people bury pets in the garden then move! They are unreasonable to ask but v difficult to say no ... what picklemepopcorn said.

YakiUdonYumYum Wed 08-Feb-17 20:25:58

I don't mean to be heartless, but is your garden big? There are rather a lot of ashes from a cremation... they're not going to blow away easily.... sad

And as others have said, you will have to gently remind them that they won't be able to come back frequently to visit. Oh dear.

KingJoffreysRestingCuntface Wed 08-Feb-17 20:26:42

Be prepared for the same request when the husband dies and wants to rest with his wife.

I'd think carefully.

Scribblegirl Wed 08-Feb-17 20:29:00

I'd do it, but I'm sentimental as hell and think it sounds lovely, so I'm probably not what you're looking for!

Dottie39 Wed 08-Feb-17 20:30:31

Its not massive, about 75ft. Maybe ask them to do it down the bottom?

Everytime a bit of dust of dirt blows around I'm going to think its her for ages afterwards!
And I'll be forever waiting for the call that he is ready to join her...

AlmostAJillSandwich Wed 08-Feb-17 20:31:07

I don't envy you at all. It being his wife's dying wish will be tearing him apart, thats where she wants to be, but its your home now. If hes anything like my dad he'll want to visit every day to feel closer to her, and its going to be so intrusive for you. I'd find it upsetting having my garden and by extension my home being a memorial of someone elses death, like it would be inappropriate having the kids play in the garden having fun when it's technically her resting place. Especially if a sad elderly man keeps turning up, whether he asks to go in your garden or just stands watching/looking at the house, he'll be drawn to be there because its where her ashes were scattered. I just don't think it's something i could agree to, it would make me feel uncomfortable and not really "at home" in my own home.

TheSpottedZebra Wed 08-Feb-17 20:31:12

Could you suggest planting a rise or something? With the ashes buried beneath?
Is it a big garden? Have you room for a rose?

ArriettyClock1 Wed 08-Feb-17 20:31:15

I'd agree and let them do it.

It's just ashes - they'll be gone within minutes. It's a nice thing to do.

user892 Wed 08-Feb-17 20:31:22

There's about a medium bucketful of pulverised bone for an adult cremation. Unless they bury the remains in your garden they are going to be rather obvious to you for a while.

But I don't think I could refuse them either.

Mumzypopz Wed 08-Feb-17 20:31:24

I'm sorry, but I really don't think I would like it. I would try and find a polite way to say no. If I allowed them, it would no longer feel like my garden and I would constantly think of it when sitting in the garden. And scatter the ashes....How long do you wait to do gardening after that? Where do they scatter them, on the lawn? Or on a rosebush or something? Sorry, I'm probably being horrible, but the whole thing just doesn't feel right.

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