Cremation has become an increasingly popular alternative to traditional burial in recent years. Why? Cremation offers several benefits to the family of the deceased and can even help loved ones through the grieving process.
What Is Cremation?
Most people call the remains of cremation, “cremains.” The Cremation Association of North America (CANA) defines cremation as “The mechanical or thermal dissolution process that reduces human remains to bone fragments.” Because cremated remains do not pose a health risk, they can be retained, interred, or dispersed by relatives.
How Common Is Cremation?
Cremation is becoming a more popular choice in today’s society. The Huffington Post reports that only 1 in 28 (under 5%) chose creation in 1958, but today, over 40% of people choose cremation. About one-third of families bury their loved one’s cremains, another third keep them, and a final third scatter them in a special place.
How Do Cremation Services Benefit a Family?
Choosing cremation can simplify many of the elements of a funeral service and burial. Other benefits are:
- Embalming is often unnecessary.
- Memorials and services are not necessarily tied to one geographic location.
- Services can be held at a later date when it is more convenient for families.
Financial Benefits of Cremation
One of the main reasons that people choose cremation is that it can be less expensive than a traditional burial. Cremation often saves the family the cost of:
- A Cemetery Plot
- A Casket (one can be rented just for the funeral)
- Gravedigger Fee, etc.
In general, cremations can save as much as 50% of the cost of a burial. If you or your family member is a Veteran, the Veterans Affairs burial benefits include free grave space for the interment of cremated remains in a National Cemetery.
What about Funeral Services?
Choosing cremation services does not prevent the family from having a funeral service. Families can still have an open casket if they wish and religious rites can still be performed. This can all be arranged by your funeral director and can even be pre-planned well before the end of a loved one’s life.
Ways Families Can Remember
While some families prefer to bury cremains from cremation in a cemetery plot, others prefer:
- Placing cremains in decorative urns for display at home.
- Making memorial keepsakes and jewelry.
- Scattering cremains in a park, from the air, in the ocean or in a garden.
- Mixing cremains in cement to create a special mosaic.
- Forging cremains into a ring, stained glass, or vinyl record.
- Using cremains in tattoo ink, turning them into fireworks, or putting them into a Teddy bear or other comforting keepsake.
Ask Your Funeral Director about the Many Cremation Service Options
Ask your funeral director about the cremation services that the funeral home offers. You can even include cremation when you are pre-planning funeral arrangements, which can ease much of the stress families endure when losing a loved one. Cremation can be a cost-effective, thoughtful way to plan one’s final arrangements.
If you have any questions at all about cremation pre-planning, contact Tharp Funeral Home & Crematory today. We would be honored to speak with you.