Cremation Resources

Why are More People Choosing Cremation?

It’s important for you to know that the most valid reason for choosing cremation is your reason. You don’t owe anyone — your family, your funeral director, or your minister, priest or rabbi — any explanation whatsoever. Your choice is your own, and it has nothing to do with your education, your wealth, your family history, your religion, etc. There are many people who view this as a personal decision, but regardless, the reality is that there is never a “right or wrong” decision when it comes to your personal preferences and choosing among the many end-of-life plan benefits.

1. People are living longer

Cremation vs. Burial

The average life expectancy for males is approximately 73, and for females it is around 80. This allows more time for end of life planning considerations and advanced decision making.

2. More families are moving away from their original homes

This leaves fewer people behind to tend to family graves. Taking care of cemetery property is now considered a burden that most people don’t want to worry about.

For numerous reasons, families are splitting up across the country. Mom and Dad may have their roots planted in one area and their grown children have relocated. It is very common nowadays for families to live in multiple locations. This makes taking care of their loved ones grave sites a very difficult, if not impossible task. For these types of situations, cremation is becoming a more viable option.

3. The idea of cremation is arguably becoming more “acceptable”

The reality is that more religious groups are changing their stance on the subject, giving an increased number of people the freedom to explore cremation as an option. From a religious perspective, people who believe that the Bible (or any sacred textbook) is the literal word of God, will almost universally choose burial over cremation. On the other hand, people who consider themselves “spiritual” or “other” on census forms or public polls will strongly consider cremation when a death occurs. There has been a curve in traditional thinking about this subject, and religious groups are becoming more receptive to cremation and the concept.

4. An increasing concerned about the environmental impacts

Green Burials

Another reason cremations are becoming more widely accepted is a result of the controversial effects of things such as a traditional cemetery, occupying land-space, chemicals released into the earth, and the ecological impact of using trees and other natural resources for burial.

There is no denying the evidence that cremation is becoming a popular alternative to burial. And, more funeral homes and cemeteries are joining the trend of green burials which refrain from using alleged “harmful chemicals” in preparing the body. As an example, many are now using biodegradable caskets and creating green memorials.

When planning a funeral, you should know that you are not limited to burial. Some people prefer the idea of cremation for a variety of reasons, ranging from the increasingly high costs of burial and the dwindling availability of land for cemeteries , to the belief that burial is bad for the environment. Again, there are no “right or wrong” opinions or decisions, just topics worth of discussion.

5. Cremations are typically much less expensive

For example, in many cases a cremation is not preceded by a funeral. If a funeral is held before the cremations, very often the caskets are rented for the duration of the funeral instead of purchased. Similarly, remains that are to be cremated are often not embalmed for a wake or visitation.  So another reason cremation could be viewed as a better option is because of lower funeral costs.

6. Cremations can save costs in several ways

Cremation costs are less expensive not only by saving on the cost of the casket, but also by eliminating the need for some of the more extravagant trappings of a traditional funeral. Also, a cremation will save on the cost of cemetery property for a variety of reasons.

7. Cremation is often considered much simpler

A cremation does not usually require an elaborate funeral, making this a much simpler process than a traditional burial.  Many even argue that those who enjoyed a simple life are, perhaps, best memorialized in a simple way.

8. Cremation’s easy disposal is comforting to some people

If no funeral is planned (very often a body will go directly to the crematorium) and the body isn’t going to be viewed, embalming is unnecessary. If a funeral is planned, it is very important for you to know that you have choices as to what kind of casket you use. Most casket makers have specially made caskets for cremation which allow both the coffin and the remains to be burned at once. A casket can also be rented at the funeral home to be used for any planned services.

A Cremation Urn

These rental caskets often have removable liners which are changed after each use, and the body can also be cremated in this container as well. In fact, some areas permit a body to be cremated without a container at all. If the ashes aren’t going to be scattered, the cremation urns or small casket which contain the cremains may be kept in the home of the deceased’s family.

We understand that many people are uncomfortable thinking about decomposition. Cremation can be opted for regardless of what religious conviction is involved. Cremation can, in addition, be an excellent option for those who are apprehensive about environmental factors.

For some of the most frequently asked questions about cremation, visit the Cremation FAQ section of our website.

Get more information about planning a cremation service now.

* Source: Hal Stevens, Founder, Online Memorials