National Funeral Directors Association: Cremation Becoming Norm In U.S.
As more Americans choose not to be embalmed or buried in a family plot after passing, cremation has become more and more common. Many families now opt to have their loved ones cremated, which also allows for more personalized funerals, unique sympathy gifts, and memorial keepsakes for ashes.
In the funeral and mortuary industry, customized and deeply intimate memorials are quickly becoming the norm. Funeral directors say that cremation can sometimes offer mourning families new ways to remember the people who matter to them the most.
Some new possibilities cremation provides:
- Returned to the Earth: There are as many funeral traditions as there are cultures in the world, but some states and counties make it difficult to bury remains directly in the ground in an unsealed casket. Fortunately, biodegradable cremation urns remove this obstacle; in fact, it's fast becoming common to bury ashes in the earth with a tree seed.
- Cremation Ash Jewelry: During a cremation, remains are exposed to high temperatures of 2,000 degrees for several hours. A small portion of the ashes can then be fashioned into jewelry like cremation pendants or lockets. With memorial necklaces for ashes, mourners can always keep their loved ones close to their heart, while also utilizing cremation urns for ashes, too.
- Scattering Urns: Some people request that their friends and family gather to scatter their ashes in a special place. Families can even request to receive ashes in a special urn made for the expressed purpose of spreading ashes.
From Stardust to Stardust: Some companies have been working to offer people the chance to send ashes into space, to rest in peace among the stars. Closer to earth, other memorial companies want to allow families to place ashes in nature, such as in a coral reef.
- Cremation Urns for Ashes: Most commonly, many people choose to display customized urns in their homes. They can be customized to reflect the unique personality of the deceased, and cremation urns for ashes aren't as outrageously expensive as steel caskets.
There are roughly 2.4 million funerals in the United States every year. By 2017, the National Funeral Directors Association says that they expect 56% of funerals to involve cremation instead of embalming or burial.
The grief we experience after the loss of those we love is profound, and many Americans choose not to cope with the additional financial burden of traditional funeral services. Thankfully, the new millennium has birthed many new memorial traditions, and there are now dignified options for Americans of all means.