“Aqua Green Cremation” Comes to Portland

Photo: Spencer Lowell, in Wired (click image for article)

Spaces are filling fast for the workshop that will introduce this option to Portland

While I try to avoid euphemisms, I’ve yet to find an elegant way to refer what to do with a dead body. Straightforward terms such as burial and cremation work well on their own. But to refer to those and other methods collectively, we seem stuck with final disposition.

The latest final disposition option comes with its own tangle of technical and market-friendly terms. Alkaline hydrolysis, also known as resomation, biocremation, and water or flameless or green cremation, is now legal in 15 states and three Canadian provinces. Read More

Natural Death Care: Green Burial & “Aqua Green Cremation”

click to download flier

Learn about green death care options from the region’s leading natural burial providers. Be the first to learn about “Aqua Green Cremation,” now available in the Portland area.  


  • Sat, April 14, 2018 at River View Cemetery, 0300 Southwest Taylors Ferry Road, Portland, OR 97219
  • Register for either Morning session (9am-noon) OR
  • Afternoon session (1-4pm)
  • Free, advance registration strongly encouraged

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A Village-Making Death

One year after my friend Marcy learned she would die decades sooner than she would have liked, she wrote a letter to the core group of women she called her Sisterhood.

“Death is not my friend but it is no longer my enemy,” she wrote.  “It is our collective reality and I may get to model walking into it first. I hope that the way I walk there, protected and emboldened by a cape made up of your love, will better prepare you for your own journeys.”

She did that, in part, by making sure the labor surrounding her dying was shared. Her sister would sew her shroud. Her brother would craft a lowering board from a tree harvested and milled on his farm. We would bathe her after her death, carry her to her grave, hand lower her into the earth, and fill the hole with flowers, tears, mulch, and dirt. Read More

Viking Funerals: Personal Style Events?

Our approach to ancestral burial sites may say more about us than them

I often begin my discussions with community groups asking, “How many of you grew up going to funerals? How many have bathed the body of a loved one after death? Who has been present during a cremation? Lowered a body into a grave? Or helped to close a grave, with a shovel or handful of earth?”

Here in the highly secular Pacific Northwest, at the far edge of the continent where the majority of us whose people came from Europe have shed generation upon generation of custom and culture, very few hands rise in affirmation. Recently I accompanied a woman to a graveyard – the first she’d ever been to, in her more than five decades of life.

Lacking any direct connection to our ancestral funeral rites, it’s no wonder that so many in these times turn to “My Life. My Death. My Way.”  Death as what Stephen Jenkinson terms “a personal style event”. Even when we seek to learn from how it was before the modern funeral industry replaced the family and community in caring for our dead, we see through the lens of individualism and personal choice. Read More