The right choice for a passed loved one is a difficult one to make, especially if there are no instructions on the person’s wishes or if their preference was never discussed. There are many options available, which can make the choice even harder at a very difficult time. in the end, though, it is about your culture, your own beliefs and what you think your loved one would want. Here are some of he options available to you:
Cremation is increasingly chosen as an option. The Cremation Association of North America (CANA) found that over 9,000 cremations were performed by the 2,100 crematories active in America in 2009 and predicted that those numbers choosing cremation were likely to grow. More recent statistics from CANA reported a 20% increase in cremations nationally.
Decisions about ash containers for loved ones can be difficult. Cremation has a long history, preceding the Roman Empire (27 B.C. to 395 A.D), a time in which it was widely practiced and beautiful embellished urns were used to store the ashes and memorialize the dead, just as they often are today. Similar beautiful burial urn options are still available, as are ash cremation jewelry items, a practice most associated with the Victorians, although it has been around much longer than that. Most companion urns are the industry standard of 400 cubic inches. Mourning jewelry can also make the best sympathy gifts.
A cremation with memorial service costs about $3,100, according to the National Funeral Directors Association.
Green burials are increasingly popular; although there are no firm statistics on the number of green burials, reports in the Washington Post and other media outlets point to increasing interest in a way of burying or cremation that has minimal or no negative impact on the earth.
Natural burials are when an unembalmed body is buried in a biodegradable coffin made of eco-friendly materials. This releases up to half as much in carbon emissions as a traditional burial. Similarly, biodegradable cremation urns are available for those who opt for cremation and then burial. This is a greener option, which allows the ash containers to degrade naturally without harming the environment while the ashes are released into the earth gradually. Green burials cost on average a quarter ($2,500) of that of a traditional funeral.