This is the story about a bloke by the name of Michael Hart who died at age fifty-four, was buried by his wife Di Hart. But not in the way the conventional funeral industry does it. Since they were both very environmentally conscious, it made sense to consider a gentler, more natural way of departing this mortal earthly life.
PICTURE: Di Hart at a proposed Byron Bay natural burial ground site. Credit: Supplied
In: A woman’s final act of love to ensure her husband died the way he lived, Catherine Naylor (SMH March 24, 2023) tells the story about how Di Hart was determined to do things differently – in keeping with their values. Honouring the memory of her partner and also honouring mother earth as the source of our being and the place to which we should return.
Catherine Naylor writes: ‘So Hart, who had spent her life with Michael caring for the environment, dressed her husband in his favourite sarong and Batik shirt and laid him out in a recycled cardboard coffin. Her children wrote messages to their dad on the outside and filled the coffin to the brim with natural flowers.’
Then they walked to the local cemetery, sang songs together, and buried Michael on top of a pile of green material, to make sure he was at the best depth in the grave for decomposition – “in the living part of the soil”.
“He got recycled,” Hart says of her husband of 48 years. “It was one of the most beautiful experiences, to experience Michael’s funeral.
“We’re a valuable resource and we should be returning our bodies to the soil in a way that they get recycled.”
There is growing awareness across Australia about the environmental impact of death. Traditional burials tend to use embalming fluid and plastic-lined coffins. Cremations, often powered by fossil fuels, can emit carbon dioxide, sulphur dioxide, and mercury from tooth fillings.
For years, Hart has been advocating for a “natural burial ground” in Byron Shire to address these issues, but Michael died in 2020, before her group of volunteers had managed to establish one.
We’re taking it back to what we’ve done for 99 per cent of human existence, which is to simply put our bodies back in the ground for future life.”
For the full story click on the link: Hart to heart: wife’s final act of love. which is the SMH story or for the ABC News slant by Dinah Lewis Boucher, posted Tue 9 Aug 2022 check this link: Why Dianne honoured her husband Micheal’s death with a natural burial.