Archive for December, 2009

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Obviously death always includes the material need to deal with the dead body. But how this is done – with what accompanying beliefs, ulterior purposes, everything beyond the actual physical disposal – is where the question of “body or soul”, of material or spiritual, becomes relevant. If the material disposal element is always present, what […]

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The Green Burial Council has set itself up as a watchdog to ensure that burial becomes “more sustainable, economically viable, and meaningful” in North America.  We applaud such an effort – our Mother Earth can only benefit from any help. And burial is no insignificant environmental factor when the earth’s massive population and consequent burial […]

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Anonymous ash-scattering grave in Switzerland Browsing through landscape architecture magazines in search of promising architects and architectural ideas for perpetual cemeteries in the 21st century, I at least found exactly what Perpetua’s Garden must never become! In Germany and Switzerland, recent demand has led to the creation of various forms of Gemeinschaftsgraebe, that is, common […]

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That motorcade, that gold casket, all that incredible media and popular interest in this prominent funerals. Where was the environment in all of this? And why was everyone so fascinated by it all, especially Americans who are so afraid of anything to do with death? In the microcosm of burial and cemeteries, more immediate and […]

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Contemplation of the ravens that I feed on my terrace led to interesting conclusions about the importance of individuality in human relations, conclusions which can be extended to our graves and cemeteries. Unique individuality is not apparent to me here I noticed that I was very curious if the raven that came each day to […]

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I am unconvinced that green burial as currently conceived necessarily represents a healthier integration of death as a part of life – for some of its fans, it may be yet another subtle form of death denial. Moreover, although it claims to have an environmental motivation, it may also hide unresolved spiritual issues – that […]

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“All that we call history is largely dependent on stone. This is true for earth, natural and world history in the broadest possible sense; thus it holds true also for the creation of the planet, the arrival of plants and animals and of Man, from his primeval and prehistory all the way to the present […]

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Room for every hope!

12 Dec 2009

BBC World Radio surprised me with a call today, inviting me to take part in a broadcast debate on the “Tina Turner -esque funeral” trend in Britain. I learned from the journalist thatan uproar had been stimulated by an Anglican vicar (Revd. Fr. Edward Tomlinson SSC of Saint Barnabas Church) speaking frankly about the – […]

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If I have one gripe with many green and woodland cemeteries it is that they don’t think deeply enough about the consequences to humans and human culture of making cemeteries more “natural”. This regards above all finding a place for enduring memorials in natural cemeteries. This morning I came across an interesting story from the […]

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