So my cousin gave up her fight against bowel cancer a couple of weeks ago. Yesterday was the funeral. I haven't experienced a green burial before. The idea is you have a quickly biodegradable coffin, she had wicker, and you are buried in a woodland. It's a beautiful place with trees, wild flowers and it's full of birds. You can have a memorial tree planted at the site of your burial and there are no headstones. The tree has a support post where you can have your name engraved so relatives can bring flowers to that spot later if they want to.
It was quite lovely but very sad. She was only 54 and the cancer treatment didn't work so she wrote her own eulogy and planned her own funeral to help her husband although she totally praised him at the funeral for his support. She thanked her parents for a happy childhood and good education, (never a JW. ) She thanked the Marie Curie and the Macmillan nurses who got her through her last days. There was opportunity to leave a donation. She thanked all her friends and family, neighbours and work colleagues. She described her life from childhood, meeting her husband, working as a teacher. It was cool to here stuff I didn't know. Do you ever think at funerals why didn't I hear this before?
There was music which was meaniful to her and her husband. As she was a primary school teacher she had a friend read a story she used to read at school to the children about getting over sadness. A couple of friends also spoke up with memories, some funny, which was a light relief. It was very moving and in such a lovely setting with birdsong and trees all around us. About a hundred people came. She requested that none of us wear black and there was no religious element because she was an atheist although she quoted the Dalai Lama about sad times making us stronger. A strong lady, I shall miss her. God knows how her husband and mother will cope.
It was a long day, we left the house at 7am and got back 11 hours later. I fell asleep on the sofa after dinner and woke with a start thinking, is my daughter alright, is she still alive! She was upstairs, she was fine, it had just been such a heavy day.
One thing she said in her eulogy which the celebrant read out was, really value life. She said she was enjoying every wild flower while she was dying. Really loving every minute with family and friends. She said she had always wanted to go to Barcelona but didn't make it. She said do the things you have always wanted to do, value every minute of your life. I just wanted to share that and it has helped me writing this down, thanks.