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Sunday, February 22, 2009

Burial Space in the News - Think Globally and Sync Locally

"In Europe and Asia, where people have been living and dying for a hell of a lot longer, traditional burial practices have given way to practical considerations. Grave plots are now commonly "rented'' for a fixed term, the remains later disinterred and placed in an ossuary or crypt. It's posthumous recycling, intended to prolong in perpetuity the "life cycle'' of a graveyard, which strikes me as an oxymoron.

In truth, if mortal congestion doesn't get you tossed from your mummy chamber, erosion, acts of God and global warming just might. I've seen, from flooding in New Orleans to earthquakes in Managua, entire cemeteries on the move. In Alaska, I watched ancient Inuit graves – originally dug far from the coastline – drop into the encroaching sea, no ice floe left to restrain wind and currents.

Some cultures have done us all a great favour by putting corpses to the torch as religious ritual. It's tidy and environmentally friendly. It's also becoming increasingly popular as a cost-conscious alternative in the West.

About half of Canadians now opt for cremation." continue reading: Burial space on my list of worries, by Rosie DiManno @ Toronto Star
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