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I have to admit that I chuckled a bit at the headline on the Sydney (Australia) Morning Herald’s website: “Green reaper’s grave new world.” (I love a good pun!) My amusement faded a bit when I read that a new cemetery is opening in New South Wales where people will be buried “in bio-degradable coffins between gum trees in a protected koala sanctuary.” Visitors to the cemetery will be given a GPS unit to find the graves.

My concern wasn’t about the prospect of composting the dearly departed. After all, if you’ve ever visited a cemetery where there are dips in the ground or soft, spongy spots, you’ve seen that bio-degradable graves aren’t anything new (even though the old graves weren’t really intended to be bio-degradable.) My immediate thought was “What about the tombstones?!?!!” (Leave it to a genealogist to be more concerned about the loss of a source for research than about what would be going on underground.)

I was quite relieved to read further down in the article that tombstones from “natural rock” would be allowed.

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