WOODLAND

Dear John

One of the things I know you had been interested in was ‘woodland burial’.  We had talked about it a couple of times, and we once tried to find a woodland burial site on the Isle of Wight, but it turned into a disaster because we couldn’t find it and I got all uptight driving on single track roads, and it ended up with such an argument, or at least bad feeling, that it sort of put an end to that topic.  Anyway, I wouldn’t have wanted to choose somewhere that was that inaccessible, even if it had been beautiful.

Well, you’ll have to forgive me John, that I didn’t choose that for you.  I gave it careful thought and I felt that it hadn’t been a specific enough wish on your part.  I would say you had expressed an interest in it, but not that you had definitely said you wanted it.

Because of the awful ‘reclaimed grave’ decision, I was looking at other options, and I looked up two or three woodland burial sites nearer to where we live.  I went to visit one, called ‘Nutfield’, on the A25 near Godstone.  I had a bit of difficulty finding that, and it was a bit of an echo of the anger and frustration of not being able to find that Isle of Wight place.

Anyway, I thought it was horrible.  Hardly ‘woodland’, more like ‘scrubland burial’.  A little very muddy area with a few half grown trees, at the bottom of a country graveyard (with no church).

I didn’t like it, it wasn’t attractive, and it was so isolated, I thought it would be a bad place to have the funeral, in terms of other people coming, and also a bad and scary place for me to visit subsequently on my own.

Also, it wasn’t even a place you had ever been – at least the Mitcham Road Cemetery was somewhere I knew you were familiar with.

So please accept my apologies, that you’re in a normal cemetery after all.  I’m sure you would have understood the pragmatic decisions I had to make.

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