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What is it about another person that sometimes makes friendship instantaneous? Despite differences in both age and background Bella and Evelyn meet and when Evelyn announces, ‘What I’d like is to be buried naturally straight in the earth with a tree planted on my grave,’ they find they are able to discuss some of life’s big issues. Evelyn’s husband Earl has been cremated and is apparently “waiting” for Evelyn. She wants none of that for herself. ‘You don’t have to be embalmed you know, with all that fuss and poison. And it’s so expensive! No, the thing is, you can be buried straight in the ground and make good compost.’ Bella is a little thrown with such directness and the topic. She coughs, ‘And your husband?’ ‘Earl? Good compost? Hmm.’ Evelyn considers. The two women stare at each other for a few seconds then burst out laughing. A bond is formed that will hold them in good stead when tragedy strikes. Light is a story with heart. Current traditions surrounding death are challenged as the women reclaim a vital aspect of their humanity – how to say goodbye. An unusual addition after the story is a ‘How To’ checklist. Trish Saunders has added both this and a ‘Further Reading’ page. After all, how exactly does one go about being buried naturally?

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