by Ruth Faas
In 1984 my father died suddenly. Coming from a working class family, we had to use the least expensive casket and I instantly thought—“People will think we didn’t love him!” My brother gets frustrated with me when I tell this story, and I understand that—I would never think this of someone else. Yet, we don’t always know what we’ve internalized.
by Lee Webster
Often when I begin talking about conventional cemeteries requiring a vault, I see blank faces in the crowd. I ask if they have ever noticed anything underneath the casket the last time they attended a graveside service. Still blank, I nudge them with memories of green astroturf and a curtained casket skirt. Nothing. I back up even further, explaining that the casket they saw was going to be lowered into a concrete box and have a lid placed on it once they left. Blank becomes confused becomes disbelieving.
by Jodie Buller
For the past seven years I have stewarded a conservation burial ground in Washington state. It is an honor to support families to lay their loved ones to rest in this earth—reminding people to use their legs during the hand-lowering process, working together to help close the grave place, and receiving the stories that tend to tumble out when family are breaking a sweat and saying goodbye.
by Father Charles Morris
The date: October 9, 2019. The location: City Hall Auditorium in Port Huron, Michigan. I am showing a video. The video pans to a large rock in the middle of a field. There is an audible gasp from the audience. My name and birthdate are on the rock. There is a hyphen and then nothing yet. That rock is my tombstone along with a number of other folks who are to be buried in the field in the Preserve Natural Burial Ground at All Saints Cemetery in Waterford, Michigan.
by Jennifer Downs
I drove into the cemetery just as the service was to begin after passing through a bleak neighborhood in Baltimore. It was a grey day and large trees reached into the sky, birds chirped as I gazed at the expanse of green space with a stone wall surrounding us. Standing with a large group of friends and family around the freshly dug grave, I looked around and found myself sighing with ease. I teared up at the reality of what I know this family had gone through while also mourning the loss.
by Max Gottlieb
Preparing for end of life is essential, but many people don’t know where to turn when it comes to mourning. You may be surprised to learn that there are many community bereavement resources if you know where to look. These resources include hospice groups, grief camps, counseling groups, and of course, traditional ones on one grief counseling. Read more...
by Bob and Annette Jenkins, and David Carter, PhD.
The most valuable experiences in life are transcendent. Experiences like love, respect, and humor transcend political, economic, and social boundaries. Life itself transcends these boundaries as all manner of organisms exist on our planet. Elements, water, and energy combine to become life. Death allows decomposition to break them apart for repurposing into new life. Humans, as stewards of Earth, are obligated to optimize the health of our planet and its inhabitants.
Call for Entries
We welcome original content with unique perspectives for the GBC Blog, preferably not previously published. The views and opinions expressed on the GBC Blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official position or policies of the GBC. Send entries to email@example.com