As Benjamin Franklin once said “in the world nothing can be said to be certain except death and taxes”, he was right! We will all have a funeral one day, there’s no escaping that fact.
I speak with clients who are making wills on a daily basis and funeral wishes are often discussed. Whilst some of us will have definite ideas, the majority of us haven’t given it much consideration. Maybe this is a way of trying to avoid the inevitable, or that we don’t want to feel saddened about considering planning for a time when we will no longer be here.
Personally, I have never given the issue much thought; I am far too busy enjoying the present! However, a recent visit to a woodlands burial site soon changed my way of thinking!
I’ve always thought burial choices were limited. Generally, tradition plays its part and the vast majority of us will consider a religious or non religious ceremony; church/cemetery burial; or a cremation, and let’s not forget choosing our final resting place. If we are lucky enough, that chosen location will be able to accommodate us when the day comes, if not, then who knows where we will end up!
I recently visited GreenAcres Woodlands Burials in Rainford. GreenAcres provide an alternative to the traditional funeral and burial by facilitating the most beautiful and peaceful setting as a final resting place.
The burial site is set within acres of beautiful, seasonal changing woodlands, home to both wildlife and wild flora and fauna, offering an alternative to the more conventional burial and cremation options.
I learned whilst there that Woodland Burials offer many advantages in terms of sustainability. The use of biodegradable coffins (or no coffin at all) promotes decomposition without contaminating the earth with any harmful substances. The aim is to let the body return to the earth as naturally as possible, and to promote the ‘cycle of life’ while creating a meaningful and beautiful memorial place for loved ones.
Naturally, during my visit, I began to consider my own funeral and what I would want. Being a countryside loving, nature enthusiast, I left GreenAcres assured of “this is where I want to be laid to rest”.
These days there are so many alternatives, most very practical, some slightly bizarre - but all potentially possible if that's what you want.
From burials at your home or at sea, to resomation (bio cremation) and cryomation – it seems nothing is unimaginable when it comes to making decisions about our final resting places.
In a time where society is becoming increasingly more ‘eco aware’ it would seem that that even in death, we can lessen our impact on the environment by choosing a more eco friendly way of burial/cremation.
Considering the practical arrangements of your burial and final resting place shouldn’t be underestimated.
If like me you want to make those decisions and not leave it to others to decide for you, then it’s ok to be proactive about it. If you do have specific ideas, preparing or updating your Will is the perfect place to start. Often a pre-paid funeral plan can also help you ensure that your wishes are carried out when that time comes. Remember, it’s ok to be different!