Death and Burial on the Homesteadgreenspun.com : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread
I'm a homesteader researching for an article on death and home burial on homesteads. When I die, I want to go into the ground right here, on the land I'm bonded to. In my state, a family recently won back the right to bury people on their own, land, as long as it's int a tomb and more than an acre from the home and water supply on a more-than-four-acre piece of land.
So I'm asking for information, if anyone has it....do you know what the laws are in your state regarding home burial? Who can be buried on your land - just family or anyone? What are the restrictions? How do you feel about this? Anyone have any stories to tell me?
-- Raven Kaldera (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 14, 2001
Pulled this from another forum, so I don't have first hand experience. "Caring for the Dead",by Lisa Carlson covers all states. Our local library has at least one other similar book, so you could maybe check yours.
-- David C (email@example.com), May 14, 2001.
I don't have any answers, but I'd be interested to know the answers. Why pay the high cost of funerals these days? We would like to make a home made casket, have a showing at the church to say good bye, then bury on the homestead. I don't know if it's legal here in WI, but it should be made legal everywhere. What do the Amish do?
-- Bob & Laura from Buck Snort Resort (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 14, 2001.
Here in Missouri if a person isnt embalmed the casket has to be sealed or they have to be buried with in 24 hours. Here you can make your own casket if you want, and the vault is only required by some of the grave yards its not a state law. Now about he burial on your own property i dont know for sure. Ask Hoot about casket makin his brother is in the business. dale
-- dale (email@example.com), May 14, 2001.
We looked into this many years ago here in Alabama with the idea of having a private family cemetary. It entails restricting the property as a cemetary with access to state roadway and adherence to state burial policies.
-- Jay Blair in N. AL. (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 14, 2001.
Several years ago an adopted grandfather, of sorts, passed away. A few weeks after the funeral Lilibell called and said she didn't know what to do with Lathum. We all thought she had gone over the edge.
After a few questions we realized his cremation vault was in a town sixty miles away and Lilibell doesn't drive, so how was she to see him. We asked what she wanted to do with him and she started talking about how much he liked the garden and the rose bed, fresh air and sunshine. She thought she would put him in the backyard. She did! mulched him in with the roses and visited him and talked to him every day until her death many years later.
What the county dosen't know wont hurt them.
-- jennifer (email@example.com), May 14, 2001.
That's what I told my husband to do....just sprinkle me on some horse manure and I'll be happy. Be in someone's garden. My whole family has been saying they want to be cremated.
-- Dee (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 14, 2001.
Assuming you want to be buried, yes, you can be buried on your own land. In most States, and some Counties, there are restrictions. The most common is that you have to designate the area as a cemetary. Most have 'care of the body' laws that differ from location to location. Also, most states require that designated cemetary to be fenced.
There is a difference between a casket and a coffin. Not just the shape, either. A coffin is a six sided box with a lid that fits on top. It is not insulated, nor can it be effectively sealed. A casket is a four-sided box,insulated, whose lid fits down on a rubber gasket, and therefore is sealed upon closing. Check the wording on the State or County law if you are worried about it. Most times, other than for a certificate of death, no officials need be present.
I know most States require some sort of container for the deceased, but not all of them do.
Very few states have embalming laws as such, but all will have laws regarding how long a body can be kept, and sanitary laws regarding non-embalmed bodies. Of course, this assumes a wake at home (which is legal in ALL States).
Be aware, too, that these laws change quite frequently - especially in rural areas that are attracting new residents.
-- Sue Diederich (email@example.com), May 14, 2001.
In regards to the Amish- they designate a spot on someone's land as the community cemetary and that's where they all get buried. I'm not sure about embalming and such, but as cheap as the ones I know are, they aren't paying for a funeral home.
-- Mrs G (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 14, 2001.
Here in rural SE OH, you can be buried on your own land, in your own container of choice, anywhere you want, as long as it is marked, and will not directly contaminate the ground water. No embalming is necessary at all, but you must have a "death certificate" from the county coroner and be "planted" within three days. This information is directly from our local funeral home, in an area that has no zoning.
As for the Amish, (husbands father's family is Amish, and I have attended several Amish funerals), they do not embalm at all, the body is washed and put in a very plain pine box, and that is it. They also bury within three days, but in hot weather, it is still not a very pleasant sight, the body begins to have a definite "green" cast to it.
I intend, and states so in my will, to be planted at the top of our highest hill, overlooking the valley, in a homemade wild cherry coffin, with a hunk of local rock polished and engraved with the essential dates on it. My one concession will be that a section of black wrought iron fence be put up around the plot area to mark the boundary line. Husband wants to be cremated, so his ashes will be planted up there too, or just scattered, he says either will do.
I feel, that given the appropriate amount of land, anyone should be able to be buried on private lands, wherever they want, and whoever wants to, not just family members. A record should be kept of who, and where, at the county courthouse, so folks don't get "lost". Death is a natural part of life, and should be treated as such, not made out to be the spectacle and production that funeral homes turn it into.
-- Annie Miller in SE OH (email@example.com), May 14, 2001.
One of the fellas in our saddle club was dying from cancer. He sent a letter to every member in the club with his wish. He was to be cremated, and wanted each member, if they wanted, to take turns carrying his ashes on a ride....his favorite ride.
While he waited for death, he made a gorgeous leather cover for his urn. It had a handle so it would fit over the saddle horn.
His wife was not a rider, but she rode her husband's horse on the ride. When we reached the top of the mountain, a prayer was said and the wife scattered the ashes.
No, we didn't check to see if it was legal. We were out in the boonies anyhow, and we were fulfilling a man's last wish.
-- ~Rogo (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 15, 2001.
"I feel, that given the appropriate amount of land, anyone should be able to be buried on private lands, wherever they want, and whoever wants to, not just family members."
I do hope you are not implying someone can be buried in my front yard just because they enjoy the view or whatever.
-- Ken S. in WC TN (email@example.com), May 15, 2001.
http://www.funerals.org/index.htm look here
-- stan (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 15, 2001.
A few years back here in PA I also looked into this. I was referred to the Board of Health !! They told me that you had to die at home. So I guess if I am out of town when my Maker calls me I better make it back home in a hurry !! Don't know the reason for that. Also you couldn't have died from some disease that could contaminate others. Never really got anything in writing and perhaps I should. You didn't have to be embalmed, don't believe people of the Jewish faith are ??, and any sort of coffin would be fine. Of course common sense to where your were buried concerning water and all was also advised. Maybe I should look into this more. You just never know !!!
-- Helena Di Maio (email@example.com), May 25, 2001.
I only know of one case out here in Missouri. The man wanted to be put in the ground on his own land. They had to deed 3 acres over to the county as a cematary. So they did with the exception that everone in there family would have a place at no cost to be buried there. So the plots were maped out and everyone in the family picked there own plot. It was full when it was deeded over with the exception of the one family member that was put there the next day.
-- Teresa Bourgoin (firstname.lastname@example.org), June 04, 2001.
I came across this thread by accident while searching the net. For those who may interested please visit my web site on natural burial (its listed as a pagan site, but is applicable to all faiths). In it you will find general guidance on preparation of the deceased, shrouding, preparation of the gravesite, and general concerns. There are also links to other "green" burial sites and a suggested reading list. In addition, I have just started a Yahoo group on this subject that you can join. To find this group there is a link on the last page of the site, or you can go to Yahoo groups and search for "natural burials". My best wishes to all of those who are looking into this most loveing method of burial.
-- Dafydd (email@example.com), July 21, 2001.
Sorry, I neglected to give the url for the above mentioned site: www.immarama.faithweb.com
-- Dafydd (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 21, 2001.