Were you the sensitive type, prone to tears at the slightest provocation? You’d make a great weeping willow.
A loyal Leafs fan to the grave? How about another shot as a magnificent maple?
An Italian company is giving the dearly departed a second chance at life as a tree, putting a new spin on the growing trend of natural burials.
The Capsula Mundi project involves planting your body like a seed in an organic, egg-shaped capsule. A tree of your choice is then planted on top of the body.
As you slowly decompose, your nutrients feed the roots.
“The dead body is put in a fetal position,” the Capsula Mundi website explains.
“The tree is chosen when the person is alive, relatives and friends look after it when death occurs. A cemetery will no longer be full of tombstones and will become a sacred forest.”
The capsule that the body is placed in is 100 per cent biodegradable starch plastic.
The idea has yet to be realized due to legal hurdles in Italy, but many people have expressed interest on the company’s Facebook page.
“Amazing, wonderful and without any religious dogma. Just splendid it’s so logical. I would love to become an oak tree,” said Gatsby Macmurphy.
“This makes me so happy,’ added Carla Belkevitz. “I have always wanted (to be) buried under a tree. When I (saw) this my heart skipped. My favourite place in the world is among the trees. How wonderful to have my sons visit me in such a place.”
In the Greater Toronto Area, zoning bylaws have hampered efforts for new eco burial grounds, but existing cemeteries have started providing natural burial options.
According to its website, Mount Pleasant Group of Cemeteries opened the region’s first natural burial section at Meadowvale Cemetery in Brampton in 2012.
In 2013, a natural burial section was added at Duffin Meadows Cemetery in Pickering.
“In order to promote the natural process, embalming with formaldehyde or non-biodegradable solutions is not permitted on burials in this section, nor are burial vaults or outer containers. Caskets, shrouds and urns must be biodegradable, and caskets and urns may not contain varnishes or lacquers,” the Mount Pleasant Group outlined on its website.