David died on Tuesday evening, after an 18 month battle with cancer, in the presence of his wife and adult daughter, surrounded by their love. Today was his Green Burial service. For those of you who have not experienced this sort of farewell to a loved one, it is all about returning to the Earth. No embalming, no fancy vaults or polished caskets, just a simple casket or biodegradable box or, as in David's case, a wrapped shroud of plain cloth. I cannot adequately describe the impact of entering the chapel and seeing the body of a man, wrapped only in cloth, laid on a caisson without a casket for elegant camoflage. We walked together, some 50 of us, 1/4 mile to the meadow burial site, where the grave had already been dug. Amid guitar and flute music, David's friends lowered his body into the hole... and I could see that there was a person being being buried. Nothing else moves in the way a body does once the animating soul is gone. We buried a human. No matter how many pretty stories we tell each other about how we hope to meet again on the other side of death, once your heart stops, and your brain activity fades, that's what you get. Dead is dead. Memories are what remain, and such wonderful memories of love and life will sustain David's widow and daughter through their grief, bolstered by their friends and those who attended today to help fill the grave, first with 'biomass' (wood chips and mulch), then sand, and finally the local topsoil and gifts of flowers. David has been returned to the Earth by those who shared his life, and now we will take care of each other. And remember him. I left a pebble on the mounded dirt.