I had not known a green burial was possible in the USA today. I would definitely prefer to return to the soil from whence I came, but today’s burial practices have made that nearly impossible. Alas, I, too, live in California, though a few counties north of you. After being intimately involved in making final arrangements for six people, including making final travel arrangements to distant mortuaries, I’m not happy about all the regulations surrounding handling our physical remains. Nor their transportation costs. The mortuary took my mother from Paso Robles to Long Beach in 2005 for $200. I can’t even remember the price we paid to fly my daughter from Texas to Long Beach, including ground transport, in 2009.

I didn’t learn until after my son’s death that mortuaries don’t have to be the only ones to help prepare bodies for burial. Families can participate. But mortuaries don’t tell families that for obvious reasons. They seem to want to separate loved ones’ remains from their families as soon as possible. When families handled all that in days past and knew who made the casket, I believe it kickstarted the grieving process.

Much as I may want a green burial after reading this, I would feel guilty about adding more expense to the disposal of my physical remains. They have to be dealt with, but I believe what happens to my spirit after death is more important. Once I leave my body, I won’t really care much what happens to it.

Christian, bereaved adoptive mom, blogger, amateur nature photographer, voracious reader. Married 54 years. Central Coast of California. https://barbrad.com

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