JP Novelist Decides How She’ll Transition to Dust

What should be done with this body of mine when, as the saying on many old New England tombstones goes, I have departed this life? Over the years I spent writing a novel starring a gravedigger, this question crept gradually from the back of my mind to the fore of it. My protagonist, Ben, champions green burials at a graveyard inspired by Forest Hills Cemetery (more on that later), and he devotes a share of his free time to creating a burial suit laden with mushroom spores, designed to turn his remains into “some really nice compost.”

Through several drafts of the novel, Ben both reflected and inspired my burgeoning plans for making an environmentally friendly transition from flesh to dust. Though I wasn’t up for engineering my own burial suit, I started to picture myself being lowered, free of a casket and embalming chemicals, into a hole in some conservation land, a possibility that an episode of the HBO series “Six Feet Under” first brought to my attention. Then my father died.

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Victorian Summer: Good Friends, Tasty Food and Cold Beer

FHET welcomes author and historian Dee Morris for a Sunday afternoon historic walking tour to celebrate summer in the city. A Victorian Summer: Good Friends, Tasty Food and a Cold Beer

The tree-shaded landscape of Forest Hills Cemetery is the eternal home of Victorians who enhanced the social life of Boston.  Jacob Wirth (1840-1892) and his family established a legendary eating and drinking emporium that is a landmark today.  The fresh shellfish at the oyster saloon of Richard “Rich” Higgins (1830-1904) and the lager beer of Henry Pfaff (1826-1893) drew a loyal following.  Events at Roxbury estates featured fresh flowers or fruit from Marshall P. Wilder (1789-1886).

Casey Arborway, Dec. 11, 2016

Casey Arborway Milestone: Shea Square Stoplights to Go Live Thursday

Jamaica Plain's "Little Dig" -- AKA the Casey Aborway -- is scheduled to pass a key benchmark this week. Shea Circle, the part of the Arborway where Franklin Park meets the main entrance to Forest Hills Cemetery, will take a giant step toward becoming Shea Square. The stop lights in the new configuration are to be turned on for the first time on Thursday. Transportation planners say a signalized intersection will be more efficient than the large circle it is replacing. Here's what the finished product should look like:

Here are the details on which traffic movements will be affected the next two weeks, as outlined by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation:

On or about December 15th the traffic signal will control Shea Square for the first time.

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