Wednesday, April 29, 2009

An ongoing discussion

One of our readers, Edie Thomas, sent this thoughtful response to comments made by Thomas Friese.

I happened to come across a comment from Thomas Friese on your website regarding an article on March 8th called Crossings: Caring for our own at death. The comment was not too inappropriate, however, there are some comments that he made that I do not agree with and feel should not be on your site.

One comment is regarding land consumption and that green burials utilize too much valuable land space. He also discusses at length his issue with not marking the burial sites with any type of marker. He then states that determining a resolution to the land use and marker issue is something that needs to be addressed promptly. He includes his website address, which is to a website where you have to put in your personal information before you can even see any of his resolutions to the issues he brings up.

I understand his concern with these issues, but how he states that environmentalists are addressing the lands needs before the individual is a little critical and unnecessary. My opinion has always been that with the rate of growth we are seeing, there will be no green space left except graveyards and golf courses. With green burials, the graveyard has created a new image where people will want to go, and you do not necessarily have to go a "marker" that "belongs" to your family member. Just being in a natural setting will remind you of what your family member felt was important and help bring you closer to their memory.

I understand that some individuals will have a difficult time coming to terms with a newer way of thinking in regards to burial traditions. I also understand that green burials will grow and evolve with future needs. I don't understand how green burials that create open space are any different in terms of land use then graveyards with granite markers. Is he proposing that we utilize some form of the Tibetan sky burial for our future burial needs?

. . . I was mostly upset with the fact that he put (in) his website (address) and then when you look it up, you cannot find any information that he wants to discuss until you sign up. I actually did sign up and I still have not gotten my password sent to me. I understand that I should probably be directing my frustration at him. I just wanted to make you aware of his comments.

Edie Thomas

Thank you, Ms. Thomas for granting permission to post your comments.