Even a few decades ago, the traditional burial was the only way that Americans would consider being laid to rest. While alternatives such as cremation, burial at sea, resomation (dissolving in a chemical bath) and mummification have always been around, people tended to find them strange. Not to mention, most churches frowned on these practices. As a result, as recently as a half-century ago, only about 3% of Americans chose cremation, a proportion that aligned with the population of non-Christians. Time has made a world of difference.
Today, one in two American families choose an alternative method of laying loved ones to rest. Cremation is the most popular of all these methods, a trend that shows that Americans do take the “ashes to ashes” proclamation seriously. Whether you have reason to want to investigate alternative methods, or are simply curious, here are the reasons why society is changing when it comes to the way people say their final goodbyes.
There’s the matter of cost
A basic cremation costs as little as $2,000; together with a full funeral service, the cost rises to no more than $5,000. A traditional burial can be much more expensive; for instance, residents planning a funeral in Cleveland, OH spend anywhere between $10,000 and $20,000. With the economy nowhere near where it used to be, choosing a cremation today is simply a matter of economic sense.
Cremations are fun
A great many people today express their desire for an adventurous ending; their loved ones carry out their wishes. Cremations lend themselves easily to all kinds of ideas, too.
Since the average cremation yields only about 5 pounds of cremains (the term often used today for the ashes that remain after a cremation), they are easily disposed of in just about any way imaginable, legal or otherwise.
Plenty of people take the cremains of their loved ones to Disneyland, the Kennedy Space Center or Graceland and surreptitiously tip them into a water body somewhere, or select a secluded spot. Others do things like scattering cremains into the atmosphere from a plane. While the responsible thing to do would be to get a permit, people tend to generally do whatever they wish.
There are plenty of other adventurous things to do with ashes. There are various services that put cremains into hour glasses, press them into vinyl records, put them into fireworks for a starburst of an ending, mix them into tattoo ink for a tattoo and so on. There is no end to the amount of fun to be had.