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March 15th, 2019

Back to Albany

I have returned back to Albany, to this quiet house but noisy cat. Awake at 4 am so might as well blog while the cat kneads and meows and purrs.

There are a lot of layers to the stories from this journey but I hope to start with the journey to Herland Forest for the burial, once a few more pieces are in place. The wind in the trees there was a comfort. I, too, now wish even more to save up for a plot to become a land and forest guardian there.

Other than that, being asked to and then reading one of the readings at the Catholic Funeral Mass portion of my father's ceremonies was the hardest thing I've ever done in my life. Tried but couldn't telegraph through it. My father was a lector and asked me to be one, too, when I was a kid. Hell of a flood of memories, standing up there at the lecturn, to say nothing of the emotions that surround my relationship to the Catholic church.* I don't need comforting words or commentary about this; it just was the way that it was.

Many memories were brought to the surface by the opportunity to stand in places where I hadn't stood for a long time, talking to people I hadn't talked to in a long time.

I half expect my father to come along with some corrections to the telling of this story, but already his website is dead without any backups that we know of (yet). Not sure what kinds of file access he gave my mom.

*Nothing so horrible as all those who have suffered abuse at the hands of the Church; mine have more to do with some of the same things that caused my father to have both Cosmic Celebrations and the Catholic funeral, except some of my interpretations and conclusions are different.

This entry was originally posted at https://rebeccmeister.dreamwidth.org/1285448.html. Please comment there using OpenID.


The Green Burial Journey

1. Here is a statement that my father helped to write about the decision to be buried in Herland Forest:

When Jim first heard about green burial, the idea resonated with him immediately. Green burial means that the body is not embalmed and is buried in a relatively shallow grave in a biodegradable container. This promotes the return of the body's biomass to the earth so that the nutrients available therein can be made available to future living beings. All living things die and decompose, their remains return in a great cycle that nurtures future life.

In a tour of Herland Forest, Walt Patrick, a leader of the Windward Intentional Community, stressed ecology and the relationships among the living members of Herland Forest. This forest lies in a convergence of ecosystems and has three dominant species of trees; Douglas Fir, Ponderosa Pine, and Garry Oak. Based on the structure of their root systems underground,  the trees decide on the best location for the burial of human remains. Mindful of the root systems, members of the Windward Community dig the grave and fill it with wood chips. Wood chips encourage growth of mycorrhizal fungi that provide nutrients to the trees in a symbiotic relationship. Having the grave filled with wood chips also allows for easy digging in the winter.

Jim really understood the value of his nutrients being given to other living things. He fully embraced that his remains should nurture human life.

Description of journey and burial, with photosCollapse )

This entry was originally posted at https://rebeccmeister.dreamwidth.org/1285667.html. Please comment there using OpenID.


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