Dresden Maine May Soon Allow Viking-Style Funeral Pyres
Apparently, the idea of natural, outdoor, cremations is a new trend. Basically, instead of your remains being turned to ash in a high tech gas furnace, they put you on a bed of logs and light it up! Okay, there's probably way more to it than that, but that is the basic idea.
If that sounds appealing to you, I have great news - that could soon become a practice here in Maine!
According to the Lewiston Sun Journal, a measure before the State of Maine Legislature would allow for outdoor cremations.
While there are a lot of places around the world where this type of send-off is common, the only place you can do it in the United States (for now) is Colorado. There are only two places in Colorado that allows it, and only one of them is open for public use.
At the Colorado sites, the bodies are wrapped in linen and placed atop a metal grate inside a brick heart. The wood is piled under the grate to provide the needed heat for incineration of the remains. Apparently, there health concerns for those near the process. They say it is basically like being near a bonfire of the same size.
So, who's idea is this? A non-profit group called "Good Ground, Great Beyond" is trying to get permission to have funeral pyre on a 63-acre plat of forested land in Dresden. They want authorization to be able to use the land for cremation, as a scattering garden (where people would put the ashes of their loved ones, and as a "contemplative community sanctuary"
According to the group, one of the benefits of the outdoor funeral pyres is that it allows the family to gather together at the cremation, instead of the funeral home doing the cremation out of the view of the family.
There is no word on when we can expect an answer of this measure.