Aside from the green burials with mushroom suits and biodegradable coffins, a more significant trend in the death care industry is an old favorite: cremation. Cremation goes back at least 20,000 years ago to Australia where archaeologists found the Mungo Lady, a partly cremated body of a woman at Lake Mungo, Australia. Throug the progression of history, further and constant records of cremation have been found throughout the world, especially within China, and within Hinduism where cremation is not only allowed but preferred.
Cremation in America
In relating to America, a so-called salad bowl of cultures and backgrounds, cremation trends have been on the rise. Annually in America, about 2.5 million people die. In 2011, 42% of Americans were cremated, according to the National Funeral Directors Association. 2011’s rate of cremation doubled that of 15 years ago, and predictions dictate a constant, rapid growth for cremation in America.
Why is Cremation Such a Big Trend?
- Religion – Up until 1963, the Catholic Church had outlawed cremation in preference for traditional burial. Nowadays, the strict ban is given plenty of breathing space, allowing church followers more freedom with their choices in their final farewells.
- Changes in the family – As America continues its modernization along with the rest of the world, there is a decline in nuclear families. More and more Americans live far away from parents and direct relatives, and cremation is simply just more convenient.
- Money – Being cremated is simply a cheaper, yet still perfectly respectful and traditional alternative for many people. The average cost of today’s traditional burial is $6,500. The average cost of a simple cremation can go for about $1,600.
With matters of religion, family, and cost continuing to affect Americans’ funeral options, the cremation trend has reasonable explanations for its rapid growth, as analysts have predicted.
What to do After Cremation
Following all the grief and sorrows, unlike a burial, cremation leaves you with the cremains of your loved one. What do you do with that ash that had once been them? There are plenty of things that can be done, depending on the deceased’s personal wishes, cultural traditions, or alternatives the family believes may be best.
Some people choose to scatter their cremains, while others keep their cremains in an urn on the mantel. Plenty of funeral service providers have resources that sell beautiful urns for ashes to be kept in. Some people like to keep urns inside their home, either for religious worship, or in memorization of their beloved. Another option often chosen is the scattering of cremains. Many people who chose to have their cremains scattered feel as if they are being given the chance to travel across all corners of the world.
For those who choose to scatter the ashes of their loved ones, they often purchase scattering tubes to keep the ashes in and transport it to the desired scatter destination. These scattering tubes can also be purchased from either the funeral service providers, or from online destinations (Amazon.com, Sears, and Walmart).
In our article, “What to Know About Scattering Ashes,” you can find out more about where you can and cannot scatter the cremains of your loved ones.
In the “Top 5 Creative Ways to Spread Cremains,” you can also learn about various options of spreading cremains. You could either opt for the cremains to be launched into space, or be turned into a diamond.
Where green funerals allow alternative options for those who choose to be buried in death, there are also many ways of spreading cremains for those who choose cremation.
For more information on funeral planning and resources to guide you through planning a funeral, visit the I’m Sorry to Hear article library and Resources to download a Funeral Planning Checklist, review the Casket Guide, find Funeral Planning Tips, and access Funeral Consumer Advocacy links.