I’ve recently been to the funeral of a very dear member of our family. Being my first funeral in Sweden – and first funeral as an adult! – I did my share of research in order to avoid any cultural mistakes, and to understand better what was going on.
Compared to the Mexican way, the Swedish funerals are a lot more emotional – at least for me. I could not get myself to read the Psalms, let alone sing them. The family was placed at the front of the church in order of closeness. I am sorry to say that I was not very far. I almost felt like “on the spot”. Scared of making a mistake and swallowing all the feelings (remember, I’m Mexican, drama is in the blood), I just followed what everyone else was doing.
The body was cremated and put in the ground in a beautiful part of the cemetery, which is like a big garden. This for me was a first one too. I guess we usually put the bodies in the ground, and the ashes in some box in a church or a wall. So ashes in a garden seemed a bit strange. Well, today I came across this idea: turning into a tree after you die. And you can choose the kind of tree too.
According to the website, it is the profaine ritual of regeneration and the return to nature. Bios is a mortuary urn made from biodegradable materials: coconut shell, compacted peat and cellulose. Inside it contains the seed of a tree. Once the urn is planted, the seed germinates and begins to grow.
Not my cup of tea, but I can understand why people would be interested:
– less land mass
– recycling (if you can call it so)
– lengthening life – somehow
– some sort of legacy
It does rise some questions like, what happens if you don’t germinate? what if the land is to be re-used to build housing or a shopping mall? would I haunt the owners of pets that piss on me? Or maybe if I do become a nice, big, leafy tree my grandchildren will come and read under my shade. Maybe a Rainbow Eucaliptus.