How do we prepare for end of life? How do we honor the dead? How do we care for the living, through our rites and rituals, after a loved one passes?
Michael Judd joins me to answer these questions as he shares the very personal story of his father’s passing, and how his family went about establishing a home cemetery. He helps us navigate what to do in order to create our burial site; how to clear it with local officials, laws, and regulations; how to provide access in perpetuity; and how to legally and properly inter the deceased.
From there we continue the conversation to talk about how we can prepare for our own end of life by creating an advanced directive; the options for green burial; the need for all of us to start having honest and open conversations about death, regardless of our age.
We end with a series of listener questions.
Find out more about Michael at EcologiaDesign.com. You’ll find links to the organizations mentioned in the Resource section below.
As I mentioned early in this episode, I see preparing for our own end and including our loved ones in those conversations early as essential to our work as permaculture practitioners, regardless of what level or degree you take your design to. If your focus is primarily on farm and land, then setting aside a place to hold the dead is essential. If your design takes you beyond the landscape, then what ways can you start the conversation with family members, friends, and your community? Can you take the ideas here, of the wake that Michael held, and apply them where you are? Or do you have different cultural hallmarks that mark the transition from life, just there are ones for entering it?
I don’t know anyone for whom death and dying is an easy conversation, but if you have thoughts on this and would like to talk about them, or need some space for someone to listen as you grieve and seek closure, my door is always open.
The Permaculture Podcast
P.O. Box 16
Dauphin, PA 17018
National Home Funeral Alliance
Crossings: Caring for own Own at Death
International End of Life Doula Association
Five Wishes – Aging with Dignity Advanced Directive
Green Burial Council
Penn Forest Cemetery
Sparkroot Farm – Conservation Burial Ground in Moncure, North Carolina
Urban Death Project (Facebook)