• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education skip experiences global resources cider press projects digital market permies.com pie forums private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Anne Miller
  • Pearl Sutton
  • r ranson
stewards:
  • Leigh Tate
  • paul wheaton
  • Nicole Alderman
master gardeners:
  • Carla Burke
  • Beau Davidson
  • Jay Angler
  • John F Dean
  • Nancy Reading
gardeners:
  • thomas rubino
  • Casie Becker
  • Mike Barkley

Green Family Cemetery

 
pollinator
Posts: 11842
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
1170
cat forest garden fish trees chicken fiber arts wood heat greening the desert
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
My next tasks for this project are:

1. Survey the plot and register its location with the county

2. Make shrouds for my husband and myself

Shroud patterns:  http://cindea.ca/shrouds.html

Shrouds to purchase: https://www.usurnsonline.com/burial/how-to-wrap-a-body-in-a-burial-shroud-for-natural-burial/
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
Posts: 11842
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
1170
cat forest garden fish trees chicken fiber arts wood heat greening the desert
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Another important bit of preparation which must not be forgotten is to appoint an agent for the disposition of remains and formally declare one's wishes for what to do with one's body after death.  Here is the form for Texas:  http://tfsc.texas.gov/files/Forms/Appointment%20to%20Control%20Disposition.pdf
 
Posts: 35
Location: Oregon
14
fungi trees writing
  • Likes 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
If you are considering a backyard burial, think carefully about what it may mean for the property itself and the person who owns it (which may be yourself). All other issues aside, burying someone on private land impacts the future sale of that property. In addition, however remote the concern may be, you should consider how you’d feel, and what you would do, if your deceased loved one resided on property that you no longer owned.

For instance, depending on the type of property, the land could become fundamentally unmarketable to succeeding buyers if the interred body isn’t relocated, and even then, a stigma might remain that makes selling the tract difficult. Not only that, exhuming and transferring a body is expensive. However, even if this isn’t done and the property is sold, family members and others won’t necessarily have access to the property to visit the gravesite anymore. Perhaps most unsettling of all, what if the land is sold and developed for a different use, one that rattles the bones in their resting place?

In light of these issues, reflect on all the possible outcomes before committing to creating a private burial ground on residentially zoned property. Further, don’t make this decision without legal guidance and consultation, and begin the planning process well in advance. It can involve a lot of paperwork.

But do not let these cautions discourage you if this is your dream or the final wishes of someone you love. I am truly finding that people are increasingly embracing the mindset of ashes to ashes and dust to dust, and many families I have served would not have done it any other way.
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
Posts: 11842
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
1170
cat forest garden fish trees chicken fiber arts wood heat greening the desert
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Elizabeth Fournier wrote: In addition, however remote the concern may be, you should consider how you’d feel, and what you would do, if your deceased loved one resided on property that you no longer owned.



Elizabeth, I think all of your caveats are important to consider.  Our intention is to own the land until we die and will it to either a permie or to the Texas Ornithological Society (I want the permie, my husband wants the Ornithological Society).  We may be able to have the land protected by a Conservancy for its primary purpose as habitat for native flora and fauna, but need to look into that more to see if it is feasible for our small tract (20 acres).  As it is, all the land along our stretch of road is deed-restricted against most forms of development besides homestead, farming, and wildlife management.

My deceased loved ones who have been buried in caskets all reside on land which I don't own.  Those who have been cremated have been returned to the Earth or the Sea.  In any case I don't have control over what happens to their particles, so I am not overly concerned about what happens to our remains once the meat is off our bones, which is supposed to only take a few weeks underground.  If for some reason our skeletons have to be dug up and moved, I hope no one is upset by it but instead thinks "Human skeletons?  How cool!"

 
Elizabeth Fournier
Posts: 35
Location: Oregon
14
fungi trees writing
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi, Tyler. Thank you so much for your well-thought-out purpose, and for your very helpful comments for all who are reading.  For those of you who are new to this thread, please make sure you double check to make sure private land burial in your specific state, as well as your specific county, is legal.
 
pollinator
Posts: 222
146
forest garden foraging trees books wofati food preservation fiber arts medical herbs solar rocket stoves greening the desert
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi, everyone, and welcome, Elizabeth!

When I first heard of green burial, I was immediately excited. At the time, I lived in Madison, Wisconsin, and a local non-profit opened up a green cemetery with natural burial as a small revenue generator for the other work they do promoting peace and justice and getting immigrant farmers back on arable land (they operate a farm incubator on the property): https://farleycenter.org. Erica Colmenares, it wasn't there at the Farley Center in Verona that your mom was buried, was it? It's an amazingly beautiful spot, and I think they do incredible work. The organization I worked for at the time held a small retreat/meeting there one year (another service offered by the Center) and we ambled through the sanctuary/cemetery on a break. Although I'd been a fan of their work in all areas for some time by then, it was the first chance I'd had to spend time there in person.

I'd love to know of other places making natural burial available -- especially in Arizona, where I am now -- as well as resources for doing it on one's own land legally. Would the best source for this information be your book, Elizabeth?
 
Elizabeth Fournier
Posts: 35
Location: Oregon
14
fungi trees writing
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi Beth! I suggest checking my book out from the library because some of that info will be there. All states have their own rules, so you will need to check with your county zoning and planning for the rest.

I love the Farley Center!

Elizabeth
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
Posts: 11842
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
1170
cat forest garden fish trees chicken fiber arts wood heat greening the desert
  • Likes 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
On Friday we took the big step of filing our Notice of Dedication of Family Cemetery paperwork with the county clerk, making our cemetery official and ready to plant!  

We still need to fill out our Appointment of Agent to Control Disposition of Remains forms in order make sure as much as possible to actually end up buried in our cemetery.

 
Elizabeth Fournier
Posts: 35
Location: Oregon
14
fungi trees writing
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Tyler!!  A huge congratulations. This is such a big and boldly positive move. May all the learning along the way come very easy.
 
pollinator
Posts: 241
Location: Charlotte, Tennessee
67
3
goat forest garden chicken
  • Likes 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Beth Wilder wrote:
When I first heard of green burial, I was immediately excited. At the time, I lived in Madison, Wisconsin, and a local non-profit opened up a green cemetery with natural burial as a small revenue generator for the other work they do promoting peace and justice and getting immigrant farmers back on arable land (they operate a farm incubator on the property): https://farleycenter.org. Erica Colmenares, it wasn't there at the Farley Center in Verona that your mom was buried, was it?



Shoot, I'm just seeing this! Yes, my mom was buried at the Farley Center. It was a lovely experience, start to finish.
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
Posts: 11842
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
1170
cat forest garden fish trees chicken fiber arts wood heat greening the desert
  • Likes 12
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
We buried our beloved dog Izzie in the family cemetery the day before yesterday. She was sixteen.  On the other side of the fence are large rocks under which is buried my sister's horse, who was in her early 30s.
izzie.jpg
Izzie's final place.
Izzie's final place.
izzie_in_grass.jpg
Izzie in her prime
Izzie in her prime
 
Erica Colmenares
pollinator
Posts: 241
Location: Charlotte, Tennessee
67
3
goat forest garden chicken
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Tyler Ludens wrote:We buried our beloved dog Izzie in the family cemetery the day before yesterday. She was sixteen.  On the other side of the fence are large rocks under which is buried my sister's horse, who was in her early 30s.



What a beautiful dog, and the perfect resting spot. <3
 
Elizabeth Fournier
Posts: 35
Location: Oregon
14
fungi trees writing
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I love the photos and story of Izzie. Just precious!
 
master pollinator
Posts: 3123
Location: 4b
1007
dog forest garden trees bee building
  • Likes 7
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Tyler Ludens wrote:We buried our beloved dog Izzie in the family cemetery the day before yesterday. She was sixteen.  On the other side of the fence are large rocks under which is buried my sister's horse, who was in her early 30s.



So sorry Tyler.  I just lost my dog a couple months ago.  He is buried in my food forest.  I posted pictures when I buried him but I need to take new ones.  It's a very special spot to me, and I stop and talk to him each time I walk through my forest.  I've planted all kinds of plants and flowers around the rock pile above his grave.  I'm glad you have a spot to visit and remember Izzie as well.
 
Trace Oswald
master pollinator
Posts: 3123
Location: 4b
1007
dog forest garden trees bee building
  • Likes 9
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
A current picture of his gravesite. Chives, comfrey, speedwell, host a, American persimmon tree, false indigo, miniature roses, mint. Much more will be added.

I love that you started this thread.  My plan is to be buried here too, in a place that I planted and created in my image, surrounded by nature.
20200610_185200.jpg
 Gravesite
Gravesite
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
Posts: 11842
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
1170
cat forest garden fish trees chicken fiber arts wood heat greening the desert
  • Likes 8
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thank you all for the thoughts.  It is being very hard on my husband.  That dog was his child (we are a couple without human children).
 
Trace Oswald
master pollinator
Posts: 3123
Location: 4b
1007
dog forest garden trees bee building
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Tyler Ludens wrote:Thank you all for the thoughts.  It is being very hard on my husband.  That dog was his child (we are a couple without human children).



We are as well.
 
Posts: 66
Location: Atlanta GA
6
2
kids forest garden urban
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
https://recompose.life/ Recompose have studied this issue extensively and already have a composting system designed, built and legislated approval for Washington. They have major investment secured and are opening a 'prepurchase' system this month, with services beginning November 2020.
This is a bona fide replacement for the current [very polluting] burial options offered to  most people in the USA.
 
Posts: 41
Location: Southern Gulf Islands of British Columbia, Canada
6
5
forest garden food preservation
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

G Freden wrote:

When someone in the family dies--even when expected--it's such a shock and so much needs to be organized;  better to have the burial side of things ready now while everyone is still alive.  Even if this means getting caskets and shrouds measured and ready.  


Galadriel (is that what the "G" stands for?), thank you for sharing not just (at your blog) the moving story of your son's short life, beautiful death and green burial, but also (here) the wisdom that came from your exquisitely sad yet heartwarming experience. I somehow feel more fully human today. Deep condolences ... and appreciation.
 
Posts: 21
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Chris Kott wrote:I don't think there's anything specifically not green about being buried in a box, as long as that box itself is sustainably made.

I would personally want the casket inoculated with relevant fungal spore, and I have been toying for a while about burial garments containing seed of different kinds.

I think that the concrete vault thing is a real downer.

One approach that I haven't seen mentioned anywhere is encouraged natural decomposition by insects. I must admit that this is the option that appeals least to me on an aesthetic level, basically a bioreactor of decompositional macrobiota into which a body is placed. I don't know why it gives me the existential willies, as it's just an accelerated version of what happens when a body is buried within the biologically active layers of soil, but I figured I would bring it up.

Hell, a really permie approach would be to do the bioreactor approach, or the shallow natural burial approach, and have chickens penned in a toroidal paddock with the decomposing body in the doughnut hole under a layer of healthy soil. Bugs eat body, chickens eat bugs, humans eat eggs and eventually chickens too. Or, for those to whom reincarnation appeals, what about the idea of having a rooster and a bunch of broody hens in the doughnut paddock, with all of the eggs laid being fertilised by the rooster and raised for eggs or meat?

If I were truly concerned about the pathogenicity of dead bodies, I would personally favour the bioreactor or shallow living soil grave over concrete entombment. I mean, it probably gets the job done, but cycling biomass through the digestive tracts of multiple unrelated species in a soil environment without room in the soil biome for pathogens to take hold sounds like a more certain path than sequestering everything away where it's of no use to anyone.

I am glad people are talking about this subject in a permacultural context. I think modern burial processes, that basically turn bodies into subterranean soap cakes, are one of the great wastes of the day. I don't think for a minute that reverence for the remains of the deceased should be lessened, but I think that I prefer the idea of living monuments in the form of trees and living plants, and the cycling of nutrient and mineral resources into the soil and the environment.

-CK



Grok?  "stranger in a strange land"  " Having consumed a small portion of Smith's remains in keeping with Martian custom, "
 
Posts: 145
Location: Near Libby, MT
55
dog
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
http://www.takepart.com/article/2016/02/09/death-suit-makes-burials-eco-wallet-friendly

Maybe this has been discussed before but this is the way I want to go. I want to be composted and this "mushroom suit" provides that option. It's cheaper than cremation and way cheaper than a funeral and casket, even if you go the Costco route. It's fashionable, which would be important to my daughter and, if buried properly on my land the kids can plant a tree over me. We might even end up with a family orchard rather than a cemetery. How cool is that?
 
Posts: 194
5
2
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Tyler Ludens wrote:My new project is to create a Green Family Burial Ground on our land.  Texas is very open to the concept of family cemeteries.  http://www.txca.us/Resources/Documents/ESTABLISHING%20A%20FAMILY%20CEMETERY.pdf



Composting human remains is a growing funeral industry. It is legal in WA state and maybe CO.

https://www.nbcnews.com › news › us-news › composting-human-bodies-now-legal-washington-state-n1008606
Composting of human bodies now legal in Washington state
======
Recompose
A full-service funeral home
specializing in human composting
Recompose works directly with you and the people in your
life to ensure respectful, empathetic service from the time
of death through the body’s transformation into soil.
We’re here to support you. Contact us at (206) xxx-xxxx.

https://recompose.life/
 
gardener
Posts: 2278
Location: Somewhere about 100 miles north east of Redding California
302
3
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
There is a song, “fall down as the rain”, that people reading this thread might enjoy.  There is a YouTube with beautiful guitar playing but I don’t know how to post that.
 
Terry Byrne
Posts: 194
5
2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Thekla McDaniels wrote:There is a song, “fall down as the rain”, that people reading this thread might enjoy.  There is a YouTube with beautiful guitar playing but I don’t know how to post that.



Just click on the URL band of the Youtube video and it will turn blue, Thekla [cool name!!] Then hold down the CTRL button in the bottom left corner of your keyboard [might be other places for different computers] and at the same time hit 'C', the two done together copy whatever is blued. CTRL+C. Now it is in MEMORY, the computers, not yours.

Next, come to your post, click your cursor and then hit CTRL+ P which equals PASTE.

Watch, CTRL + C [COPY] and then CTRL +P [PRINT]  and VOILA, the URL will be pasted into your post or wherever else you might want to save it or send it in an email to someone.

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=permies+youtube

Next set of instructions will be "How to Send all your Money to Terry Byrne".
 
Thekla McDaniels
gardener
Posts: 2278
Location: Somewhere about 100 miles north east of Redding California
302
3
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thanks Terry,  funny I would be reading this thread when news came to me that a friend died last night.

I appreciate your instructions but I won’t be utilizing them, in addition to the distractions of loss and grief, I only access the web through my phone.

I would post the lyrics for folks to see if they’re interested…. but right now it seems I can’t even get that to work, and I do it all the time.  Imagine a wry smile emoji here….
 
Posts: 124
Location: rural West Virginia
34
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I have now participated in three green burials and have several things to say.
First, people should research the laws of the state they live in, and the states their parents etc. live in, and discuss and make plans NOW, not when they're emotionally devastated and an undertaker is promising to "take care of everything"--for thousands of dollars and in the least green way possible. I question whether Maine really demands a concrete vault, for example.
I also argue with the idea that sea burial is greenest. The problem with industrial agriculture is that nutrients needed on the land are washed into bodies of water, causing eutrophication and dead zones. Better, it seems to me, to keep those nutrients on the land where they're needed--including by a somewhat shallower burial. All three of the ones I participated in were six feet deep and in wooden caskets handmade by friends (by my current husband in the recent two cases). The first time this was because I thought a casket and six feet deep were required by WV law--I later found out WV didn't have ANY laws about that. The more recent two both died in hospitals, which would only release the body to a mortician for transport, and they wanted a box (and wanted the name of the box maker as they said both times that it was the nicest cheap wooden box they'd ever seen). The morticians got a few hundred for transport, the only expense; the first time it was in a funeral home a few miles away because, although he'd died at home, the EMTs took the body to the local coroner who was the local mortician. That funeral didn't cost the widow a dime, and when she and I and a couple others arrived back  at their place with the body in a casket hastily made by a friend, at dusk with a storm moving in, we found fifty people waiting with candles, singing Amazing Grace...there was something about that moment I've never been able to put into words but I know we all felt it. Then we carried the casket to the grave, lowered it on heavy ropes, read a Buddhist prayer and sang Will the Circle be Unbroken...covered in the grave, and I felt--there is something COMFORTING about doing this in the way our ancestors have done it for thousands of years (as opposed to the rather bizarre current practices where the body is preserved with poisons and a stranger is hired at enormous expense to get in the way of a circle of people literally and figuratively coming together around the new hole in their midst). The widow said, "
I felt like I was lifted on the caring of all those people. I didn't know how I'd get through the rest of my life without Ted, but I knew I wouldn't be facing it alone."
As to cremation versus burial, I would really rather recycle my molecules on my own land, but I can see where people in cities do have a problem with space.
 
pollinator
Posts: 306
Location: North Central New York
16
4
forest garden tiny house chicken food preservation bee woodworking
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
A very important topic that many find difficult to speak of.  I favor composting myself.  There is much useful information at Recompose

It is currently legal in Washington, Colorado, and Oregon and very close is a few others.  I know that New York is considering legislation.  I have buried an alpaca and my canine companion of 14 years, Barley, on my farm, but they were not composted first and I understand that composting is much more thorough than a green burial.
 
Posts: 154
17
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I am going to look up the natural burial resources; as for me, when I go, cremate my body and spread the ashes under the trees, deep in the woods, with a small headstone or plaque; I don't want to be embalmed or anything else like that.
 
Thekla McDaniels
gardener
Posts: 2278
Location: Somewhere about 100 miles north east of Redding California
302
3
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I wanted to find out if composting dead animals was practical.  I had a problem with bummer lambs dying. I  composted them ~35 or 40 pound lambs.  I can’t remember if any wool remained, after 1 season but I think not.

I made a compost bin out of 4 regular pallets, and filled about a third full of moist used bedding straw, and some live compost, then put the lambs in, then filled the bin to the top with more used (goat urine and feces) bedding straw.  I probably poured whey on the pile, found some moldy sticks on the forest floor, gathered what looked like microbe rich soil, just generally tried to get as diverse a population of micro-organisms as I could.

It was late spring.  The bin was in a shady spot under tree branches, and I watered enough to maintain moisture level, as the compost material decreased in volume, I added more material to the top.  I used a cloth tarp over the top to help retain moisture.  It was quite close to the open windows of the cabin where I wa staying, and I never smelled anything, nor were insects nor rodents a problem.

It made nice compost by late fall.

Same procedure for my much beloved Komondor, this time a 100 pound carcass.  I wasn’t able to tend the pile as closely, and haven’t broken it down yet but it suffered no predation.

It’s definitely biologically viable, requires no energy input, and I am convinced that with a little research a mix of decomposers could be devised that would speed the process some.

 
Terry Byrne
Posts: 194
5
2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Thekla McDaniels wrote:There is a song, “fall down as the rain”, that people reading this thread might enjoy.  There is a YouTube with beautiful guitar playing but I don’t know how to post that.



Is this it, Thekla? ////  
 
Thekla McDaniels
gardener
Posts: 2278
Location: Somewhere about 100 miles north east of Redding California
302
3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thanks, that IS it.  
 
gardener
Posts: 664
Location: 4200 ft elevation, zone 8a desert, high of 118F, lows in teens
409
3
dog duck forest garden fish fungi chicken cooking bee greening the desert
  • Likes 6
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Mary Cook wrote:The morticians got a few hundred for transport, the only expense; the first time it was in a funeral home a few miles away because, although he'd died at home, the EMTs took the body to the local coroner who was the local mortician. That funeral didn't cost the widow a dime, and when she and I and a couple others arrived back  at their place with the body in a casket hastily made by a friend, at dusk with a storm moving in, we found fifty people waiting with candles, singing Amazing Grace...there was something about that moment I've never been able to put into words but I know we all felt it.

Then we carried the casket to the grave, lowered it on heavy ropes, read a Buddhist prayer and sang Will the Circle be Unbroken...covered in the grave, and I felt--there is something COMFORTING about doing this in the way our ancestors have done it for thousands of years (as opposed to the rather bizarre current practices where the body is preserved with poisons and a stranger is hired at enormous expense to get in the way of a circle of people literally and figuratively coming together around the new hole in their midst).



That's fantastic.  Most of my dogs and also my grandmother's body, and the urns of two other relatives are buried at my former home back in Oregon.  Though I didn't intend to leave the place, it's still a great thing - that was the place my grandmother loved living the most and where she wanted to be buried.

My family insisted on a casket and paid for the mortician to arrange the burial, which took a backhoe in our soil.  It was very simple and private, as we desired.  In Oregon at the time (not sure if laws changed) it just took a simple permit and the mortician arranged it.

Like Tyler said above, all of our other relatives are on land we don't live on... so it doesn't really matter in the end to me that I don't live there anymore.

As for it affecting sales price, my career was in real estate and in Oregon I didn't find that family plots, or deaths at a home on country property were a very big deterrent to people looking to live rurally. I had one client ask if anyone had died in a home in town.  Maybe people are more easily creeped out now, I don't know how those trends have gone.

Now I'm in the desert SW and there are a lot more family plots out here than there were in Oregon. Historic ones, too. We stayed at a ranch that had a large, walled historic family cemetery. It was surprisingly fascinating. There isn't a space issue where I am, it isn't taking up arable land. Plant some flowers in it and you've created useful and needed wildlife habitat.

My husband and I are going to make our own cemetery on our property where we are building.  Unless sky burial ever gets legalized in the US.  His mother is at the point that their family has starting having this conversation.  They went around and around - their mom never made her wishes clear, quite possibly because she was too uncomfortable with the subject of death to even think about what she might want.  Each sibling asked multiple times over the years.  Now she cannot speak, so it's up to them.

They've decided on cremation for an assortment of reasons, but then were stuck with what to do with the ashes.  My husband and I offered to put the ashes here. It was very interesting to see the ranges of responses to across five different siblings.  Full spectrum.  The offer still stands should they come to a consensus.

For myself, I don't want an extra penny spent! I reminded my husband of this recently and he asked if maybe I would want one of those mushroom shrouds - I don't get the point of those.  What does it matter how fast a body breaks down?  I've heard the transforming toxins argument. That seems debatable to me, so it aside, the soil is full of fungal organisms here in the aridlands and people have been buried for ever and still broken down.  My husband also looked up the price of the mushroom things and made me gasp at the expense. Noooooooooo.....  

So I made my desires clear hopefully many years in advance. Priority one, don't waste any money on my dead body.  Not even a wood box if it's not required at the time. I've spent a fair lot keeping my body alive and functioning through decades of chronic illness; I don't want a cent more than necessary spent after the fact!  Bury my body in the earth I so dearly love.
 
Trace Oswald
master pollinator
Posts: 3123
Location: 4b
1007
dog forest garden trees bee building
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Thekla McDaniels wrote:Thanks Terry,  funny I would be reading this thread when news came to me that a friend died last night.

I appreciate your instructions but I won’t be utilizing them, in addition to the distractions of loss and grief, I only access the web through my phone.

I would post the lyrics for folks to see if they’re interested…. but right now it seems I can’t even get that to work, and I do it all the time.  Imagine a wry smile emoji here….



I'm sorry you lost a friend.
gift
 
Collection of 14 Permaculture/Homesteading Cheat-Sheets, Worksheets, and Guides
will be released to subscribers in: soon!
reply
    Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic