We recently hosted a beautiful burial service at Foxfield Preserve for Richard Schultz. Unlike many of us, he was granted time to prepare for his approaching end. He had accepted his death. He was at peace with his god. He was able to plan the services he desired, and communicated his feelings to his family.
In crafting his memorial, he prepared a final message to be read to his family. It was incredibly moving. Within that message, he addressed his decision to choose Foxfield as his final resting place. As we stood at the graveside, in the midst of his heartfelt message to his family, I was overcome with the beauty and selflessness of his statements.
In speaking with his family following the services, they permitted me to share what he had written. “We all agreed that he would want to have his message shared. He was a teacher and advocated for his beliefs. He would be pleased that his choice is being used to show others they have a choice.”
“Why the natural burial in a nature preserve? It’s a beautiful cemetery, a beautiful place for you to visit. The remains will quickly return to the soil and provide nutrients for the continuation of the life cycle. I am of this earth, from this earth, supported by this earth, and to this earth I return. The final gift of my body back to the earth is in recognition and gratitude for the gifts the earth gave to sustain my life.
Life is eternal – Not in some far away by-and-by, but right here, right now and all the time. The Spirit of Life is my Father and the Earth is my mother and to her womb, I return.” Richard Schultz
This was humbling to witness. I can only hope that one day I can greet my own end with such beautiful understanding and peace.