Green Burial

Updated 4/2016

After a huge leap to face death, what naturally emerges is: well, how will I be buried? There is a wonderful movement right now trying to help us change the way we die and how our body will be treated afterwards. I always wanted to just be put in the ground and have a tree planted over me. But I thought that was impossible; I think it probably was in the past. But it isn’t anymore. There is absolutely nothing wrong with having a funeral home funeral and burial, but there is also absolutely nothing wrong with doing the way our forebearers did. I read a story about a group of friends who got a giant refrigerator shipping box and brought it to the dying person’s home. The family, friends and the person dying got out crayons and markers and drew pictures all over it, put in favorite sayings, had a party. When he died, the family washed his body, wrapped him in a sheet, put him in the box and took him themselves to the crematorium. I think this might be a stretch for some but many hands do make light work. There are now death midwifes or doulas who will take you through all the steps you need to think about and how to do them. Here is a trailer from a beautiful little movie that explores what a green burial might mean:

If you are interested in any of this, I would suggest Googling “green burials”. Britain seems to be leading the way in this, but many, many places are opting for a simpler, more basic after-death care. I have a personal connection to one green burial site where an old friend rests – the cemetery is White Eagle Memorial Preserve in Goldendale, Washington. Here is a short video about the burial of one man who chose to be buried there:

The website for White Eagle is:

http://naturalburialground.org

There is another beautiful video on this site, but it wouldn’t embed. If you go to the bottom of the website’s page, there is “Closer to the Light”. Click on that and you will be able to watch this moving tribute to the place, the land and the people buried there.

Additionally, there is movement afoot have funerals at home. I personally think it’s a lovely option, though I can see how some would shy away from it. Up until the early 20th century, in fact, most funerals were held in the home. I only have the information for 3 who do it in the US – but I bet they might be able to refer you to someone in your area. They are:

Undertaking LA...www.undertakingla.com

A Sacred Moment/Seattle…www.asacredmoment.com

Fitting Tribute Funeral Services/Brooklyn www.fittingtributefunerals.com

If you would like to learn more about green burials, here are some interesting sites I’ve found:

http://www.cemeterygroup.org/media/GreenCemeteries.pdf

http://agreenerfuneral.org/greener-burials/green-cemetaries/

http://www.sevenponds.com/after-death/choosing-green-burial-or-natural-burial

http://www.beatree.com

http://naturalburialground.org

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/05/11/us-usa-florida-burial-idUSBRE94A05620130511

http://www.gravematters.us/faqs.html

Caskets

http://www.northwoodscasket.com

http://finalfootprint.com/green-caskets

http://www.passagesinternational.com/eco-friendly-caskets

http://www.care2.com/greenliving/how-to-turn-into-a-tree-when-you-die.html

Facing Death

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *