“I better make my will this year” thought I on Sunday night “after all I’m 32 and not getting any younger (as that would involve breaking certain rules of physics and nature that I’ve been told not to mess with)” and yes I even thought in brackets too, smart eh?
After pondering about what to do with my worldly goods I found myself pondering longer and harder about what to do with my most personal and valuable asset, namely my body. Now some may find sitting alone in the house supping a fine 15 year old single malt (thanks Rog) and contemplating what to do with your own corpse a tad depressing and more than a little morbid. Not me, I consider it an interesting question, an eternal dilemma about where to sleep.
Have no fear dear reader, three and a half years in the United States has not turned me into a rabid church goer, or any other kind of wacky (and yet scarily popular) religion. For many years now I’d describe myself as an agnostic with atheistic tendencies, which I guess makes me a follower of agnostic atheism, and Wikipedia to the rescue with a definition once again.
So I wondered and thought, because I know I want to be laid to rest in England’s green and pleasant land which may mean a bit of air freight when the time comes depending on where I am at the end of my life’s tether. Where exactly though is a bigger question because although I find graveyards beautiful and tranquil I really can’t see myself being buried in a religious cemetery or on church land. It just doesn’t seem me somehow, and the vicar that once described me as “a bit eccentric” would probably agree.
In the end I had to turn to Google and see what I could find, and guess what… there is another option. Initially I visited the website of The Natural Death Centre which definitely sounds creepier than it was. This rapidly lead to more specific information regarding Burials within the Stratford District Council area, and their not so helpful page on Green/Alternative/DIY Burials which just had me wondering if the last item should have been DIE (Death Interment Environmentally? quick copyright it and sell it to someone, and surely Do It Yourself is the wrong phrase, unless they know something about the undead that we don’t….)
Now the district council’s information was helpful, and not just as a sedative. It explained that any land owner can give permission for a body to be interred anywhere as long as the location met requirements and the necessary paperwork was completed. This would mean that should my Dad wish to be permanently “up the field” he could be as long as we picked a site away from the drainage ditch. As some of you can imagine, the thought of this made me giggle for some time as we’ve all had many happy hours up that field, and several digging the drainage ditch too!
So knowing that location is not as difficult to establish as one might think I went a step further and wondered where exactly I’d want to be. Eventually I whittled it down to three for the time being, and I didn’t worry myself about the “permissions” aspect, instead I focused on the space and importance of the location. In the end my top three were as follows:
- Idlicote Hill, Warwickshire, where there is a certain tree I know very well, and the “hospital fields” from the civil war will keep me company.
- Compton Scorpion, up on Foxcote Hill there must be space for an Ian sized hole, looking towards the Fosse and Brailes Hill, with Edge Hill in the distance. The way the clouds skim across the sky, and the wind whips up from the fields where the medieval village lay is just beautiful.
- And finally possibly the easiest to arrange, and a place I may actually visit to see if it meets my expectations at some point. Sunrising Hill which has recently had facilities opened on it which ensures that a natural burial here will not be built over any time soon (Nature Reserve Burial Grounds). Brailes, Compton Scorpion, and Idlicote Hill can all be seen from this location.
Having discovered what was possible, and having thought about what I’d like I have to admit I felt quite happy. If you are interested in reading further click on the links in the article above, and if you don’t want to know, read a different article and don’t worry I don’t intend to go anywhere just yet 😉