Why You Need To Pre Plan Your Funeral

James Davis figures that his first mistake was asking
permission. If a man promises his wife he will bury her in the front yard, then
he should just do so.

“They’re waiting on me to die,” said James Davis, whose lawn
has a sign with a message for town officials about his wife. “I am not digging
her up.”

But ever since Mr. Davis granted his dying wife’s wish by
laying her to rest just off his front porch, he and the City of Stevenson have
been at odds. From City Hall to the courts, the government of this little
railroad town in southern Appalachia has tried to convince Mr. Davis that a
person who lives in a town cannot just set up a cemetery anywhere he likes. On
Oct. 11, the Alabama Supreme Court affirmed a judge’s decision saying as much.

But Mr. Davis, 74, is not inclined to back down.

“They’re waiting on me to die,” he said early last week,
standing on the porch of the log house he built and looking out over his lawn,
which along with the grave features an outhouse and a large sign demanding that
his wife be allowed to rest in peace. “I am not digging her up.”

Alabama, like most states, has no state law against burying
someone on private property, and family graves are not all that rare in the
country. Sherry Bradley, the deputy director of environmental services for the
State Department of Public Health, said people asked her about private burial
several times a week.

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