Green eco-friendly funerals seem to be gathering steam as more and more people are looking for ceremonies and processes that reflect how they lived and their love and respect for our natural world. Environmentally concerned individuals are looking for alternatives. Ontario’s first and only natural burial site is located in Cobourg, Ontario, The Cobourg Union Cemetery which was established in 1867 opened Ontario’s first dedicated green section for natural or eco-burials in 2009.
Does one’s concern for the environment make one sacrilegious?
Today I witnessed the death of a tree,
that lived across the street from me.
It had grown there for many years,
I must admit my eyes had tears.
For memories came floating by,
how children played neath its shade and the sky.
It grew outside the front door of a school,
where people passed by in the heat and the cool.
And now the space it has left won’t be filled for a while,
I will remember it always with a grin and a smile.
I’ll remember the maple leaves that glowed red in the fall,
which never failed to give pleasure to all.
How the neighbourhood children played at its feet,
in the snow in the winter, in the shade in the heat.
They played ball hockey using its trunk as a post,
and hide and seek which they loved the most.
Then its life began to fade,
the dark greens of the leaves paled to the colour of jade.
I watched the tree surgeons cut its limbs and lower them into a truck,
where they were shoved into a machine that gobbled them up.
Now the tree is only wood chips and sawdust that will go back to the earth,
where the seedling raised its head when the earth gave it birth.
Back where it first raised its frilly little head,
and now my sturdy tree is dead.
Not unlike us when we die never again to breathe earth’s air,
but gone to a better place more fair.
To bloom in a place more wondrous and glorious,
where Christ rules forever victorious.