"On earth there is no heaven,
but there are pieces of it."
It was a beautiful summer day, with a warm breeze blowing through the leaves of the trees and birds chirping on the branches, as family and friends of Jeff were making their way through the meadow of Kokosing Nature Preserve, to his natural burial.
Jeff was a leader of Trail Life USA (Troop 148) and boys of the troop made the casket that they carried to the gravesite for the honoring of their leader. The sunlight shined brightly on one tree, as though Jeff was embodied in it, overlooking as the pastor conducted the ceremony. In a distant corner of the woods the echoes of taps could be heard from the bugle being played by one of the boys at the end of the ceremony,
Before being lowered into the ground, the casket was adorned with flowers placed by family and loved ones. And as is typical with natural burials, they ceremonially shoveled dirt into the grave.
Jeff's burial was a beautiful sight to behold and an honor of which to be a part. Of all of the burials that I have attended over the years, none compare to the natural burials. Natural Burials (often called Green Burials) embody the essence of our return to "dust". These ceremonies are as individual as the deceased being honored and encourage the involvement of loved ones present. There is no pretense, only the purity of connection to the deceased, one another and the earth. It reminds participants of their role within the natural life cycle- in harmony with nature.
(Kokosing Nature Preserve is located at 10620 Quarry Chapel Rd. Gambier Ohio
for more information, call 740.427.5040.)