When it comes to honoring our loved ones, the way forward isn’t always easy. You might have tough decisions to make--and questions that need answering.
Thankfully, you’re not alone. We here at Green Hills Memorial Park are here to help!
Maybe you’re starting at the beginning of the decision-making process: choosing between a traditional burial and cremation. Or maybe you’re looking at the cremains of your beloved grandad and wondering how best to care for them.
While a traditional viewing, funeral and burial service are familiar to most families, cremation is still uncharted territory for some. For the next few minutes, we’ll unpack the role of cremation in our society today and address one of the most pressing concerns.
More people are choosing cremation over traditional burials than ever before. In fact, the National Funeral Directors Association reports a 15% increase in cremations from 2010 to 2020, with an expected 78% of deceased choosing cremation by the year 2040.
The reasons are as unique as the individuals who choose them, no doubt. But a few common themes are emerging:
Cremation offers an affordable option. In some cases, cremation costs less than a traditional burial.
You might be surprised, however, to find that only 14% of Americans make these decisions based on financial reasons alone.
Cremation offers an environmental option. As an alternative to a traditional burial, cremation doesn’t require a sizable plot of land. You can honor environmentally-conscious loved ones by going green!
Cremation offers a creative option. Gone are the days of a standard fare funeral. Cremation allows families time to gather for a celebration. Cremains can be cared for in a myriad of ways and even shared among relatives in addition to choosing a final resting place. The choices, truly, are endless.
With these benefits in mind, cremation might also sound like the right fit for your loved one.
Still, as you’re learning more, you may want to get one of the biggest hurdles out of the way:
With the expected increase in cremation over the coming years, what am I supposed to do with my loved ones’ cremains in the future?
Did you know that you can scatter half of the remains and keep half of the remains? Here at Green Hills, we remind families that taking an urn home should be considered a temporary decision. The options, really, are endless!
Cremated remains, like an embalmed body, also benefit from a final resting place. Keep your loved one’s ashes in your home as long as it is meaningful for you to do so. Meanwhile, consider whether future generations will be as attached to the urns placed in their care.
After all, it’s one thing to clear a spot on the mantle for your late spouse. It’s quite another to make room for grandma, grandpa, mom, dad and the rest of your extended family.
With this in mind, you might consider placing your loved one’s cremains in a mausoleum or private garden where family members can pay their respects for generations to come. Cremation offers a variety of options like glass-front niches--a memory box of sorts--for a personalized final resting place.
Of course, cremation presents unparalleled flexibility, and the options available for honoring a loved one knows no bounds. You do not need to worry about an urn tucked away in the back corner of the basement to be forgotten. Now the thoughtful decisions and intentional choices you’re already making for your loved ones will have a long-lasting impact as you creatively and appropriately care for their ashes.
We have a comprehensive Education Center for cremation and all the questions you may be asking. You can view it here. You may be interested in articles like: