Grace Seidel, 55, recently decided to have her remains composted once she dies. Seidel has a passion for death and dirt which reinforces the idea of her body going back to the earth.
“It’s easier for me to just know that when my life s over, it will be over,” says Seidel. “So I can make the best of what I have now, be the kindest person I can be, and hope people feel good when they think about me.”
Seattle resident, Grace Seidel, loves gardening and dirt. She recently decided she wants to participate in the Urban Death Project, which turns human remains into compost. October 21, 2014. Photo by Constanza Gallardo.
Seidel takes care of her garden throughout the year. She says she’s lucky because she has the time to put into it.
If her body is used as compost after she dies, her remains would go back to the earth.
“My body could go into feeding a tree or feeding a plant or garden,” she says. “It’s just continuing the cycle of life that way.”
Seidel says it’s important to have dark and rich dirt to grow any plants. She loves to put her hands inside the dirt.
Seidel confessed she loves to visit cemeteries and contemplate the tombstones and statuary.
Every season brings something new to her garden, and she sees that as the circle of life.
Seidel accepts the decay of her garden just as she does death.
When she’s stressed, she goes outside and pulls out weeds.
Seidel says when she’s outside, that’s when she feels relaxed with her plants and thoughts.
“It’s such a relaxing place to be, its my church,” she says.
Seidel grows basil, parsley, garlic, tomatoes among other plants.
Seidel hopes her remains can go under a maple tree. Like the ones around her neighborhood in Seattle.
Listen to Seidel talk more about dirt and death:
Grace Seidel wants her remains to be composted in Seattle. Death and gardening are two topics she’s passionate about and thinks about daily.
NPR Next Generation Radio reporter Constanza Gallardo shoots photos of subject Grace Seidel while covering a story in Seattle on Oct. 21, 2014.
Reporters for NPR’s Next Generation Radio began their projects as part of a week-long multimedia training project.
Constanza Gallardo’s story revolves around Seattle resident Grace Seidel, who is fascinated by the Urban Death Project and wants her remains turned into compost.
Constanza’s interview with Katrina Spade, the director of the Urban Death project.
Constanza editing audio.
Constanza interviewing Seattle resident Grace Seidel.
On te field interviews.