Cedar Hall, our new ceremonial venue was officially opened on Wednesday, October 24, by one of Norfolk’s environmental champions, Deb Jordan, co-owner of Pensthorpe Natural Park. Below is the speech that Deb kindly delivered at the launch evening.
Thank you for inviting me here today; it is a great honour to be asked to open this unique and very special building.
I think we would all agree that our arrival into this world is usually pretty straight forward. Much excitement and celebration greets us as new-borns but even though as life progresses, we are all very aware of our ultimate destiny, our exit is much more complicated.
Firstly perhaps because the timing of our leaving is often unknown, – often unplanned, and in most cases thankfully, (if we are very lucky) we have made hugely powerful bonds with loved ones during our time here. And leaving those loved ones has to be extremely difficult and hard to come to terms with.
Lastly, death appears in many cases to be a subject that does not sit easily with us.
So why is that?
Is it the fear of the unknown that prevents us from such discussions? Or are we hoping that this is something in the distant future that is not relevant to us just yet?
Or could it be that the options for our parting and what happens to us ARE SO LIMITED that we feel no excitement or interest in thinking or discussing it any further!
So how absolutely wonderful that we are gathered here to open this truly inspirational and most cleverly thought of Memorial Hall and burial park.
Where we feel we actually wish to consider in more detail our choices in where we would like to be laid to rest. Where there is a very natural alternative to the extremely limited options already available.
Where we would feel most at home and where our precious loved ones can visit and remember us in the sanctuary and peace of one of the most beautiful spots – nestled in the Norfolk countryside amongst the bluebells, rustling leaves and singing birds.
It doesn’t get much better than that!
Nature is truly the finest of all healers. It allows us space from the demands and stresses of our very busy lives.
It fills our hearts with pleasure, invigorates our souls and allows us to recharge our batteries and get back on top of the issues that are pulling us down.
It strengthens our reserves and helps us put on a more positive face every new day when circumstances have for a while seemed out of our control, and rather hopeless such as when our loved ones die.
Places like Norfolk Bluebell Wood Burial Park really are new age thinking and truly going to transform how we look upon death, plan for it and cope entirely differently with our loss in the future.
To walk outside and breathe deeply, inhaling wonderful clean fresh air. Pause in the warm sunlight with our memories.
Sit quietly and truly be in the moment and make a connection with Mother Earth is so much more important than we realise.
Too much of our lives are spent worrying about the mistakes we think we made yesterday or our concerns for next week. Finding time to live for the moment should be our focus and to reflect and be grateful.
So often we hear similar words to those of Bill Turnbull the journalist and presenter on Stand up to Cancer last week, who said when you have a terminal cancer diagnosis you start to live each day very differently. ——-
You really focus on your loved ones and see the beauty of everything around you.
So let’s do things differently,
We owe it to ourselves to go out into the countryside as often as we possibly can.
Ensure we give ourselves a daily fix of pure unadulterated nature, and just drink in the beauty of it.
Stop and really look, Really see, taste, smell and reach out and touch the nature around us.
Breathe in its beauty and grasp the precious moment of this very minute.
This right now.
This glorious peaceful moment just connecting with all that is. So that when our time comes there are no regrets. We lived life to the absolute full and saw the glory in every day.
Thank you Andrew and Caroline for understanding the need for such a unique and special place where nature and people can come home together as one.
Nature is not just a place to visit,
IT IS HOME.