By 2035, experts estimate that 75% of Americans will choose cremation. Making final decisions might feel scary, but it doesn’t have to be!
Death is a part of life. When you’re investigating cremation services, what are you doing? You’re giving your family members—likely your spouse or children—an important gift.
Rather than having to make high-stakes decisions during the most emotional times, everything will be prepared in advance. They won’t have to guess what you wanted.
But what if you’re not exactly sure what you want? These days, one of the most versatile options available is cremation. Keep reading to learn more!
Cremation Keeps Your Loved Ones Close
For some people, the idea of being consigned to a cemetery plot isn’t appealing. Rather than a final resting place, it can seem too lonely, too far from their loved ones.
That’s why some people choose cremation. This process allows families to keep their loved one’s remains in cremation urns, often displayed in the home. Rather than saying goodbye, people can keep deceased family members close forever.
Cremation Saves Money
Like most major life events, funeral proceedings come with a shocking price tag. Until you’re trying to sign your name on the dotted line, you might not be prepared for what you’ll be facing.
Everyone has different priorities for when they pass on. But if you just want to handle it frugally with no fuss, cremation costs are often less than a third of what traditional burials cost.
Think about it. No coffin, no headstone, no funeral plot. These expenses add up fast, especially when compared to cremation plus an urn.
Saving the Environment
Across the United States, the land is filling up with cemeteries. Eventually, we may run out of spots. But before that happens, many activists are concerned about the impact that traditional burial has on the environment.
Modern US burial practices weren’t always common. Burning the body, or burying remains without a coffin, used to be in vogue. Modern burial practices can leach toxic chemicals into the environment and slow the decomposition process.
For instance, many funeral homes use potent chemicals. This preserves the body long enough to be displayed at a service, so family and friends can say goodbye. Embalming fluids work well, but they also harm the environment since they’re so toxic.
Coffins are also made with chemicals, too. Depending on the type of coffin selected, if it’s metal or another tough material, it may never decompose.
Cremation Is Changing
The main environmental argument against cremation is emissions. Each time a body is cremated, you may see emissions coming from the chimney of your local crematorium.
Fortunately, experts have identified this problem and have implemented new technologies. Many facilities have drastically reduced their emissions to numbers that will continue to fall, especially as water-based cremation solutions become more readily available.
Another benefit of cremation? You can do whatever you’d like with your ashes. For instance, some people would like loved ones to carry their ashes in a vial. This allows remains to be divided amongst loved ones, that way everyone can keep a beloved grandparent close to their heart.
However, you might be feeling a little more adventurous. These days, there are truly no limits to what can be done with your ashes. Want them pressed into a vinyl record so your grandchildren can get their groove on to your favorite Beastie Boys album? You can!
Are you still thinking about saving the environment? You can do that too.
For starters, consider the food chain. The main idea behind the food chain is that it’s a circle. Even if a predator is at the top of a food chain, they will eventually feed the lowest creature.
Think of it like this. Mushrooms and fungi are at the bottom of the food chain. If a rabbit, for instance, eats mushrooms, they are next up.
If a coyote eats a rabbit, and a bear eats a coyote, then the bear is at the top of the food chain. There aren’t many creatures that can take on a bear.
What happens when a body is buried? That natural decomposition process is incredibly delayed. If someone is buried in a metal coffin, it might not happen at all. Divorcing humans from the natural energy cycle can have an incredibly negative environmental impact.
Cremation also divorces you from the energy cycle. What’s another way to give back?
Think about coral reefs, a huge lynchpin of marine ecosystems. They occur naturally over time, but they are being destroyed. They need a jumpstart.
So what does that mean? After the cremation process is complete, your ashes can be poured into some concrete. Then, these concrete blocks will be sunk into the ocean. Over time, the coral will attach to these concrete blocks.
In time, your ashes will have contributed to thriving coral reefs and a rebuilt marine ecosystem.
Conducting a Cremation Service
Cremation services may feel like you don’t have a chance to say goodbye. But that’s only true if you choose to opt-out of a ceremony.
You can hold a traditional ceremony in a church, especially if your loved one was religious. Or, if you prefer, you can take the ashes home and place them inside an urn.
If your loved one had a special spot, you can visit them. Think about what to say when scattering ashes—you can highlight their sense of adventure, their love for this place, and how they enjoyed bringing new family members there.
Burial vs Cremation: Making a Choice
When considering cremation, think about what will matter most to you and your loved ones. Would you like a detailed ceremony, or would you prefer to keep things quiet?
One of the benefits of cremation is that it’s flexible. If there’s something you’d like to do, you probably can!
Check out our other blog posts to see if there’s something else you’d like to learn about as you plan.