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In a green burial ceremony at Prairie Creek, Johnson attends to every detail to ensure it is environmentally friendly. From removing all non-biodegradable objects to placing a branch in an open grave site to allow critters an escape before the soil is replanted, the result is a cemetery that resembles a typical Florida hiking trail more than a final resting place.
At the Fitzgerald burial, the family asked the funeral director to place the ashes of their deceased son, Kyle, in the pillow that was to be buried with his father.
“There is a real sense that ‘from dust you were made, from dust you will return,’” said Michael Fitzgerald, Joseph’s brother.
Fitzgerald chose to be buried in a University of Michigan shroud, a final gesture to his devotion to all things Michigan football, which began after his father took him to his first game when he was in middle school.
After friends and family members shared memories, they said their final goodbyes with shovel in hand, replacing the dirt that was recently removed and creating a mound that will, over time, settle back to its original form.