Last year when Paulus Berensohn learned about Carolina Memorial Sanctuary, he began preparing for the great event: the end of his life and his after death care. He purchased a cardboard coffin from Mourning Dove Studios, and invited his dear friends to assist in its decoration using his own art of clay, paper, and fabric. After Paulus’s death in June, his friends liberated his body from Care Partner’s Solace and drove him home in the back of a truck camper, decorated for the event. CEOLT facilitated a home funeral where friends tended to his body and created a celebration fitting for their dear loved one. Friends made the final touches on the coffin and used the clay from his last piece of pottery to decorate his body. On the day of the burial, a procession of friends brought Paulus to his final resting place, a creekside spot he picked out at the Sanctuary. There the decorated coffin and Paulus’ body were lain sided by side, while loved ones gave a beautiful service. Paulus’ body was then placed inside of his coffin and the coffin lowered into the earth. Guests participated by helping to cover the grave. The service ended with an accordion and fiddle leading a stream of loved ones away as they said their final farewells to Paulus.
Paulus Berensohn, an artist and teacher, was one of the first people to purchase a spot with Carolina Memorial Sanctuary. He was a advocate of natural burial and embraced his death in such an exquisite way. It was his wish to help educate people about green burial, which is why we’re sharing these photos. They are a great example of what makes natural burial special and beautiful. Read this article from The New York Times to learn more about Paulus. Paulus would tell his friends that he was going to “change his address.” And so he has – we now hold him tenderly at Carolina Memorial Sanctuary.