A Priceless Gift

part of Ramsey Creek PreserveI hooked up on Facebook this week with an old college friend. He was one of the cool, gifted people that I didn’t know well, but enjoyed being around. Nowadays, he’s introducing the rest of us to something I’d never heard of before — green burial.

Think about it. Immortality isn’t. Provided you’re not blown to smithereens, that thing carrying your soul around is going to be a corpse at some point. What are you going to do with it?

I’ve thought of giving my body to a medical or chiropractic school, giving back to the vocations that have healed my hurts and ailments over the years. But my family doesn’t like the idea of total strangers touching me.

I wasn’t wild about burial, either. Why would I want my corpse full of artificial ingredients and preservatives, when I’m spending my adult life trying to avoid them? Being a modern mummy just doesn’t appeal.

That left cremation. But the mental image of a box sliding into an oven doesn’t work for me. Sure, I can think of a lot of places for my ashes to be scattered, but it still isn’t me.

Now my friend has given me the answer: bury my body with a marker, without chemicals, in a beautiful place in a forest full of wildflowers. How perfect! (Go on, click on the links!)

Now that I’ve had the fun of the epiphany, and sharing it with you, I come back to the reality. My friend has lymphoma. That’s not happy.

The other bummer is that I have to add more to my to-do list — more research, discussions with my family, along with updating that woefully out-of-date will. Then there’s the financial planning, and an actual purchase. That’s a lot of time and effort. Not to mention the money.

But hey, getting “Rest in Peace” all lined up? That’s priceless.

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3 Responses to A Priceless Gift

  1. Liz says:

    So completely what I’ve been looking for forever! I’ve always told my family that I want to be buried in a hole in the ground and a tree planted on top of me. I had settled on cremation and scattering, but this might be perfect!

  2. William says:

    What a nice post – it’s nice to hear that Clark is connecting with people on this…

  3. Clark Wang says:

    Thanks for writing this beautiful piece.
    May I suggest readers listen to my NPR radio interview on green burial at http://www.thestory.org air date Sep 29, 2010?
    There is a documentary film preview on green burial at http://www.vimeo.com/14588279 also, showing Ramsey Creek Cemetery, Pine Forest Memorial Gardens, and my wife Jane and me.
    Blessings on people and planet.

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