Today I attended the first ever woodland burial I have ever seen.
Frankly not very happy at the thought of such a farewell, and feeling decidedly apprehensive as to what it might entail, and furthermore with rain forecast, I feared the worst.
Having just returned I have to admit it was one of the most inspirational settings I've ever encountered. Beautifull old woodland, wild flowers in abundance, bird-song a constant background and a feeling of tranquillity not to be found in any conventional cemetary.
The celebration of the life of the deceased, whom I had known only slightly was a very well planned and executed one. There was a huge attendance. He had been a man well known in many different spheres and there was a much larger number than usual of clergy in attendance also.
All the seats were filled and as many more stood throughout the hour-long service.
Despite the obvious sadness of those closest to him, this man's life had had so many moments which were embossed on the minds of those who knew him best that he 'came to life' in a quite unexpected way through the many tributes paid to him , so that we who knew him less well were able to see him as he had been.
I have seldom seen 'pictures' so clearly painted and it left me wishing i had known him better.
If a funeral can be said to be a pleasant experience, this one was.