Island News & Views
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General · 4th March 2017
Margaret Verschuur
A “green” or “natural” burial attempts to return the body as naturally as possible to the earth, having it become part of the ecosystem. Chemicals are not used to preserve the body and no non-biodegradable objects and products, such as headstones, are used in the burial process. The body is dressed in natural fibers, wrapped in a shroud or placed in a biodegradable casket, and buried in a protected green space within a cemetery.
The hard work and dedication of a group of people on Denman Island can show us what could be possible in our own communities. The Denman Island Natural Burial Cemetery, opened in November of 2015, is the first exclusively green cemetery in Canada. They allow only biodegradable caskets, no embalming fluids, no concrete tombs, not even a tombstone. The graves are unmarked, native vegetation might be planted on the exposed ground, and the land allowed to regenerate into its wild state. Surveyed coordinates are recorded. Family and friends of the deceased can spend time in a special area where a commemorative plaque or similar memorial has been placed. Visitors are asked to stay on the trails as they enjoy walking through the cemetery and adjoining park.
I am excited to imagine that my physical body, rather burdening the environment with its disposition after death, could actually nurture, protect, and help preserve a wild forest.
Come and learn more about Green Burials on March 6, 7:00 – 8:30. Hosted by Margaret with Final Gifts. Info and to RSVP 250-204-3709 or finalgiftseolgmail.com.