Green Burials – Back to Nature?

As I get older I naturally think more of my own death, and mindful of the attitude Memento Mori (Remember You Will Die) strive to ensure I live out all my dreams.

Thinking about death I also reflect on my own funeral. I have attended both funerals of my own parents in the last few years and most recently an uncle. All these funerals were Christian burials – two internments and one cremation.

I do not believe in God – or I believe this is what I believe anyway!

My father did not believe either yet his final farewell was within the setting of a Christian service. This is traditional in the United Kingdom – familiar and comforting. My father did leave a will but it said nothing about his funeral wishes. I went then with the traditional arrangement. To arrange something secular might not have been something he would have approved of, perhaps also difficult for me to arrange and difficult for those in attendance to deal with. Perhaps.

Back to nature

I have many years considered that I would like a secular burial – to be laid to rest underneath a tree in non-consecrated ground. I have indicated this in my own will.

It is something I am able to do because The Natural Death Centre, an organisation established in 1991, set themselves up to provide alternative responses to religious funereal ceremonies. And one of their means to this end is the setting up of Burial Grounds throughout the UK – this page on their own website explains this in more detail.

I am sharing this here as I have just read a beautiful blog post in Scientific American ‘My Dead Mother, the Tree That Never Was: The Psychology of “Green Burial Practices” by Jesse Bering.

I write this blog post not sure how it will be received. In Britain in general we do not like to talk about death so by extension to write and read about it in blogs but I feel and believe we should discuss it more than we do, whilst not morbidly obsessing over it, and I hope this post resonates with at least some of you reading this.

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