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Ashes to ashes, dust to dust
13 August 2013 @ 16:13

Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.

Last night I watched a programme on television about a beautiful eco friendly scenic park that was created to be an open area for all to enjoy. It was donated by a family that owns an enormous tract of land in the countryside, and the facilities of this small, but sizeable portion of the property, was financed by donations from people who wished to honour a family member who had died. The idea was that their ashes were scattered in the area or buried somewhere on the property unmarked in an eco friendly container. Names of the departed and quotations on them are carved on large indigenous rocks, trees or other areas in and unobtrusive way.

Compare this to the current cemeteries that exist today in and around valuable city grounds, where graves are marked by concrete tombstones and placed in rows of land that serve little other purpose than giving the families left behind a place to grieve, rather than celebrate the lives of their loved ones. And as each descendant dies, less and less family members visit the graves of their ancestors in graveyards that often are left to become forgotten eyesores.    

In the small village where we live, a local church has had a wall of remembrance built in the gardens that surround the church, where the ashes of members who died are buried. Plaques with inscriptions are placed on the wall.  In the grounds of Lower Sabie camp at a grassed view site in the Kruger National Park, exists another place where departed family members are remembered by the sponsoring of benches under majestic shady trees where visitors can sit and view the river and animals in quiet reflection of the wonder of nature. There are other places there like constructed water holes sponsored where the animals can find water to slake their thirsts in off the beaten tracks, where little water is available. A small plaque is erected at or on each site with an inscription stating who or what it commemorates.

What other amazing ideas can you come up with to turn the burial places of our loved ones into a paradise where we can celebrate their lives, instead of consigning their remains to forgotten places with concrete sentinels and buried coffins, where only the sadness remains?

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