Monday, November 7, 2016

Plans for the Family Plot


Last May I posted about this gift, the four foot high concrete Celtic Cross, given to me for my birthday from my dear friend Jay. We've enjoyed passing by it everyday as we come up the path to the Looney Bin, but now it's time to get serious about it's purpose.

One of our dreams here, in addition to building a milk house, a real barn and a greenhouse, is to construct our own family cemetery. Both Keith and I are opposed to the grand waste of money associated with the average funeral which, here in the US, runs between $7000-$10,000. This includes the wake, the funeral, all burial expenses and the headstone. The subsequent "Grief Buffet"costs extra.

So, why are we doing this?

Well, for us, a traditional funeral is financially impossible as well as environmentally appalling. We hate the idea of lying for eternity in an embalmed state, secured in a metal box within a concrete vault. Not that we'd know the difference once we're dead, but we're alive right now and any money left from the sale of our property, we want our children to have, not a funeral home. Furthermore, we are very big on composting here and can't think of a better way to dispose of our bodies than burying us near naked (I'd like some kind of flowing Boho Hippie Chick dress, Keith says T-shirt and jeans good for him) directly in a dirt lined hole.

So, I started the process last week by making a phone call to our county coroner to ask about rules and regs in Illinois regarding this. He was pleasant but admitted no one had asked him about that...ever. Said he'd look into it and get back to me. He hasn't called back yet but I'll ring him again soon. We'd like to have the plans for this wrapped up by Christmas. We're not getting any younger you know.

So tell me. Anyone else out there have this same wish? To be owners of your very own family cemetery right there where you live? And if you one of my followers from another country what kind of laws do you have regarding this issue?

13 comments:

  1. Don't want to won my own cemetery but wouldn't mnd it either. When my mom died last year we learned that some of these these things like the concrete vault aren't state regulation but rather rules of the particular cemetery. My mom probably would have preferred being burried in her flower bed. I have no idea what I want, maybe my ashes scattered?

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    1. Yes, I've learned that too. What we think are "laws" are only the rules a particular cemetery has set in place. But I love bringing down rules from laws from just rumor. Makes me happy to get to the-forgive me-bottom of things.

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  2. Here in the UK you can have a 'green' burial, in a coffin made of wicker. There are various woodland sites for burial. I love your idea of being buried on your own land, and your remains feeding the land. I'd love to have a tree planted over my body and know that I am giving something back to the planet.

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    1. Hi Jacqui, we have a natural cemetery in Illinois and I plan to contact them but I've learned that just because something is "natural" does not mean it is cheap. I selfishly want both.

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  3. Is cremation an option (or even an interest?)..my mom passed away last year and we have her ashes for a family memorial

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    1. Cremation is not cheap either but an option as far as ash scattering. My mom's ashes are scattered on our old farm, did it from horseback as she loved those critters too. We just want the right to wrap up our dead bods and drop them in the earth. Party to follow.

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  4. The cross is beautiful. I knew some people in Illinois who wanted to be buried on their farmland. They called to ask someone about it (don't know who) and were told it wasn't allowed. I told my kids to have me cremated right away, which eliminates the need for embalming, and then they can toss the ashes wherever they want. I don't need any kind of funeral. Even if I were there, I wouldn't enjoy it.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. While I on the other hand, am warped enough that I would LOVE to be able to see my own funeral, which will basically just be close friends and family dragging my carcass across the filed to its designated spot. Once again, party to follow.

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  5. In Ireland you have to get planning permission to be buried on your own land, this has cost one person over 15.000 euros in planning fees and took five years. There is only one green burial site in the whole of Ireland and that's at the other end to where we live. Cremation is very environmentally unfriendly as is embalming. We are still working on a plan for our final resting spot but unless things change will probally end up the other end of the country.

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    1. WOW! 15,000 euros?!? Unbelievable. We only have one green burial cemetery in Illinois which is about the size of Ireland but there are twenty currently in the US. I remember last year reading about a cemetery that flooded in Ireland causing caskets to bring loose and bodies to float out of them . The big concern was then all the embalming fluid leaching into water systems. Truly the more we mess with with nature, the more it likes to bite us back.

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  6. I will be cremated but put in a cemetery burial plot. Being thrown to who knows where gives me the creeps. I like the idea of future generations being able to find me. I have had good feelings walking to my family's graves and reading the stones.

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  7. We have decided to be cremated.
    The first of us to die is to keep the others' ashes until they die & are cremated.
    Then the kids &, hopefully by then, some grandkids are to pour us together, take us out to one of the many beautiful spots on this land that we've worked & that we love, then tip us out into a good stiff wind & set us free.
    By that time, Mr Shoes & I will be long gone, holding hands in amongst the stars, watching down on the happy scene.

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