As the dictionary indicates, a shroud can serve a number of purposes. Still, at The Forest we’d like to suggest that you consider an additional purpose as you determine what you’d like your body, or a loved one’s body, to be wrapped in after death.
A shroud may also connect death with the life that was lived.
A shroud can reflect connections to one’s family and those left behind. It can be a reminder of an interest, a style, a value of the deceased. It can signify a memorable achievement or identity during life. To that end, please give some thought to what you, or your loved one, have valued in life and consider whether there is a textile you associate with those values. For example, a tablecloth might bring to mind dedication to family and participation in holiday gatherings. Bed linens, including quilts, bedspreads or blankets, might carry memories of ancestors, hospitality, home life, or tastes. Motifs on textiles (prints, embroidery, drawings) might capture memories of our wishes for the deceased. A textile in a favorite color could be meaningful.
A king-size piece of material is needed to fully cover most bodies. If your shroud choice is not this size, you can use a sheet for shrouding and lay another fabric over the top.
The Forest sells antique linens that have been repurposed as burial shrouds. They have been laundered, pressed and packaged for storage or immediate use. They vary in size and style, and have slight imperfections reflecting their original use.
A Note on Cremated Remains
Cremation is the method of disposition that some people feel suits them best. Our cemetery supports the interment of cremated remains or human compost in biodegradable urns, or scattering.
Many people who chose cremation are influenced by economic factors, and we encourage you to check the actual average costs of cremation on the west coast to better decide if it is right for you.
We also encourage you to take a look at these environmental statistics on conventional burial and cremation, collected by the Green Burial Council: https://www.greenburialcouncil.org/media_packet.html
A Note on Human Composting
Natural organic reduction is the process by which microbes, oxygen and plant matter are combined with human remains into soil (in the amount of one cubic yard.) This disposition option is now legal in Oregon. The resulting soil can be used as one would use any other compost. At The Forest, the compost may be scattered, or a small amount may be buried as with cremated remains.