By Jean Campbell*
This small book, The Green Burial Guidebook by Elizabeth Fournier, is packed with helpful information and resources for anyone interested in learning more about “green burials”, and what that really means. The author speaks from experience, and lays out the information in an easy to understand and well organized way. For a subject that can seem overwhelming, this book does an excellent job of simplifying the subject.
For those ready to fully commit to this end of life scenario, there is practical advice on what to do, where to go for help as well as providing historical context and tips on the subject throughout the book. For those who are just curious, may have reservations, or have not yet thought about what their end of life may “look like”, there are explanations and options presented.
Fournier mentions “….the cultural alienation….from dying….” and all things associated with that stage of life. Western society, by in large, has turned over the handling of death to others rather than embracing it. The author invites the reader to take ownership of the choices and the outcome in advance. We could look to the practices of some other cultures to remind ourselves how to cope with this inevitable life event in a thoughtful, considerate, and personal manner.
What the author does in this book more than anything is to prompt us to think about our death and how we want it handled. To make choices, and plans ahead of time so that not only are our wishes honored, but also so that family and friends are not left with hard decisions at a time when they may be least prepared for it. Green burials provide an alternative that can be comforting and healing for friends and family, and also provide a much less invasive choice for the environment and the earth itself.
A great read for those wishing to become more informed on the subject at whatever level.
* Special correspondent, Jean Campbell has no qualifications to justify or explain why she should be reviewing books other than we all have opinions, and this is hers.