Are you considering cremation for yourself or a deceased loved one? Here is a list of things you need to know about cremation before making a decision.
With numerous opportunities for personal expression and celebration, it’s no wonder that the option of cremation is being chosen with growing frequency. According to the National Funeral Directors Association, in 2010 the rate of cremation was 40.4%. The rate of cremation rose to 57.6% in 2021 and will continue to rise to 79.1% by 2035.
7 benefits of cremation
Are you thinking about whether you would prefer cremation or if a traditional burial remains your choice?
Discover below the benefits and other things you need to know about cremation to help you determine what’s right for you. Let’s get into it!
- You can still organize a burial. If you decide on cremation, this does not rule out having a committal service to be laid to rest at the cemetery.
- Usually more affordable.
- More time efficient. Allows families to move on with grieving.
- Environmentally friendly – saves space in cemeteries and reduces waste. (I would prefer to use a different wording than “reduces waste”, this makes it seem to me that if I did decide on casket burial that I was otherwise “creating waste” or being “wasteful” with the decision-making of my loved one).
- Ashes can be saved as sentimental pieces in homes.
- You can divide ashes and give to different family members or spread them in different places of rest.
- Allows for creative ceremonies.
5 Things You Need to Know About Cremation
Now, if you or a loved one are considering cremation, we hope these five important things you need to know about cremation helps you make a decision.
1. Keeping cremation remains in your home.
In the absence of an enduring plan for memorialization and interment, cremains are often stored in an urn and kept in the home of a loved one. While this serves well for some time, it overlooks what will happen next. If the urn is taken home, what happens two generations from now? While taking an urn home can be the easiest thing to do in the moment, experience has shown that it can slow the grieving process.
For families choosing to take urns home, we strongly recommend some sort of memorial service. It offers a sense of closure. Accepting the death of a loved one can be difficult. Having a memorial service of any size can provide a clear sense of closure, which allows you to begin your grieving process. While you will never forget your loved one, the memorial service is simply your first step on your journey to healing.
Taking the urn home is not considered to be a final resting place. This is a temporary step. For some families, they choose to have the urn at home for 6 months to a year, and then have it placed at its final resting place such as a columbarium or niche, or have the ashes scattered at a special place.
Taking that final planning step of placement is an important part of the grieving process, and an important planning part for future generations and what will happen to the cremains.
2. Cremation allows for creative ceremonies.
Cremation allows family members to celebrate the life of their loved one in a unique, non-traditional way. Learn more about creative ways to celebrate your deceased loved one in our blog, “5 Ways to Honor a Deceased Loved One”.
When planning a celebration of life service, it’s best to not begin with the available ceremony options or those which have been done before. Instead, begin with the person being memorialized. Ask, what was the essence of their life? What were their passions? What was most important to them? Did they have any prized possessions? Was their life work devoted to a cause? Answering these questions can help to personalize your celebration of life for your loved one.
Cremation offers a nearly unlimited array of possibilities. The service can be on land, on the water, or in the air. It can be indoors, outdoors, large, or small.
At Coastal Funeral Center, we specialize in hosting beautiful beach celebration of life ceremonies.
Unique ceremony options
- Shoreline memorial with water scatter.
- Memorial at sea with water scatter.
- Aerial scattering over land or sea.
- Small family memorial at their favorite property.
- Memorial at a state or national park location.
- Outdoor memorial with the cremains added to a fireworks display (Remove this as this is something do not know the state and local legalities of)
The options available through cremation make memorable memorial services possible, that is true reflection of their life.
3. Cremation offers options for personalized burial/interment.
What is more peaceful than nature? Nothing! Giving your loved one a proper cremation burial in nature is a beautiful way to honor them.
In addition, when considering the final resting place for the cremains, many options are available, and it is not necessary to choose only one. Nevertheless, you can choose as many options as you want. Check out several options and possibilities below:
- Outdoor burial
- Existing adult burial plot
- Small-sized plots for cremains
- Urn garden
- Granite front niche
- Planting trees with cremains
- Indoor Interment
- Mausoleums designed to house both bodies and urns
- Columbarium or glass niche “memory box”
- Creative interment
4. Mementos for keeping the cremains
Today, we’re seeing families come up with creative ideas for what to do with ashes. There’s plenty of room to add your personal take to a centuries-old ritual.
Several creative possibilities include:
- Turn ashes into grave markers.
- Memorial glass or stones.
- Wear a loved one’s ashes in a piece of jewelry.
- Turn your loved one’s ashes into a tattoo.
- Incorporate your loved one’s ashes into a painting,
- Turn your loved one’s ashes into a piece of pottery.
- Turn your loved one’s ashes into a new tree or plant.
- Use your loved one’s ashes to create new coral reefs.
- Opt for a “green burial” of your loved one’s ashes.
- Send ashes into space.
We recommend the family create a written generational plan which ensures the cremains will always have a resting place of loving care.
5. Scattering cremains
Scattering all of the remains in one location has the potential to be emotionally impactful to family members. It is important when making final preparations, to consider the emotional needs of all immediate family members. Some members may need to have a permanent memorial in place, giving them a physical location to visit, grieve, and recall precious memories.
Afterward, if the cremains need transported or shipped by air, there are laws and policies which need to be included in the planning process.
Rules for scattering cremains
When scattering cremains on private or public lands, consider that there are local ordinances, state laws, and federal laws.
According to the National Funeral Directors Association, over half of Americans are choosing to be cremated over a traditional burial. This statistic is projected to grow to an astounding 78.4 percent by 2040. Not only is cremation here to stay, but it will also become the mainstream choice in a few years.
More Things You Need to Know About Cremation
At Coastal Funeral Center, your Advanced Planning Advisor or Family Service Advisor can guide your family in planning for all of these considerations, freeing you to be at ease and focus on your loved ones.
Above all, Coastal Funeral Center will personalize your loved one’s funeral services to ensure they are represented. If you have any other questions about ways to honor a deceased loved one, our advisors are here to help. Contact us online or give us a call at (310) 326-6343 if you have more cremation questions.
About Coastal Funeral Center
At Coastal Funeral Center, we commit to being guardians of family and community, while holding on to the legacy we established as a family-owned funeral home. Originally A.M Gamby Funeral Home, Coastal Funeral Center joined Green Hills Memorial Park in 2018 to better serve the community of the South Bay and Palos Verdes Peninsula. During this transition, we expanded our services as an all-inclusive facility and built on the successes of Green Hills Memorial Park. We’re proud of our legacy of personal service and our deep roots in the community, which we’ve been part of for more than 80 years. We provide customized funeral service options that meet your financial needs and honor your loved one like the beautiful individual they were. To learn more, visit https://coastalfuneralcenter.com.