Can I be Buried at Home?
Living as I do in rural Wales, the question “Can I have a funeral on my own land?” is not unreasonable. However, many don’t realise that the simple answer is “yes you can”. What’s more, it’s a beautiful way for the family and friends of the person who has died to say farewell with the least possible grief. Below is a blog I wrote back in 2017, I’ve done more “home burials” since then, but this one will never leave me. It was beautiful.
Yesterday, Friday 10th July I officiated at the funeral of a lady in a little village between Newcastle Emlyn and Aberporth. I met Ron, her husband, and her daughter and son a few days before the ceremony (as normal) and created the ceremony (as normal). But that’s where the normality finished.
Eileen and her husband had been making plans about how they would conduct their funerals for years, and after a fight with cancer her time had come.
Eileen was buried in the field above her house. This field hasn’t been ploughed for decades and as such the long grass waved in the wind, dotted with wild flowers and butterflies. First, we took Eileen’s coffin into the house (of which she’d been justifiably proud) one last time. Then I and a small group of friends and family followed the hearse up the wide path which had been cut through the meadow. The atmosphere was relaxed as we walked and the Sun shone down.
The bearers – Eileen’s family – put her onto the funeral director’s bier when we reached the graveside. We all formed a circle around it and reflected on her life by listening to the tribute I’d created for -and with – the family. Two of the (adult) children had written letters, so these were read out. Then we took her to the grave to read the letter she’d written “to be read graveside”. After I’d read a short reflective piece about the beauty and suitability of where her final resting place is, Eileen’s family lowered her into the earth. This was to the sound of Elvis, as she had instructed. Everyone laid individual flower stems on the casket after that, and the tears flowed freely. Even the funeral director admitting to wiping away a tear.
This marked a first for both the funeral director and me and it was the most natural way to say goodbye to a loved one I’ve come across. Obviously, we don’t all have access to our own large piece of land, but it’s made me wish that we had a natural burial site nearer where I live. Even though this wouldn’t be quite as perfect as being laid to rest a few yards from our home like Eileen is, the feeling of the circle of life being completed would be more palpable I suspect, than in the crematorium. Debbie, Eileen’s daughter said afterwards; “I don’t feel sad right now, I have a warm feeling here (touching her chest) as I know we’ve done the right thing for Mam when the inevitable happened”.
To have a home burial, you do need to comply with one or two issues, but it really isn’t complicated. This is a good article on the subject from a reliable source.
There is now a natural burial site in Keeston, near Haverfordwest. It’s called Pembrokeshire Natural Burials. Please contact me if you would like to hold your ceremony there.
I know of no reason why you shouldn’t have a natural burial in these times of Covid19. In fact, if it’s what you want I think there’s even more reason to do so. It would be a small, intimate gathering in a place which is important to you and the one you have lost. This is my general article about funerals in the pandemic.
If you want to learn more about the service you will receive with Treasured Ceremonies, call me on 07986 526732 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or ask your funeral director to contact me.
The funeral director in this case was Alun Esau. His address is
Telephone: 01239 654 240