A stone bench between trees.

The Mensch in the Bench

As a septuagenarian, I now find myself contemplating the disposition of my mortal remains. Pondering this weighty issue prompted me to remember the especially fractious interment of an elderly Jewish couple I knew, and its unusual resolution. It involved the final resting places of my cousin’s father-in-law, a retired judge named Solly, and his second wife of many years, Belle. (The names and identities of all of these people have been changed to respect their privacy.) Solly and Belle both had three children from their first marriages. Ultimately, they retired to south Florida. Solly and Belle, both in their eighties, passed away in the same year. They had given the matter careful consideration and decided to be cremated; they had even picked out the urns for their ashes. Their plans, though unwritten, were to have their urns...

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