What is Cremation?
People generally understand what the term cremation means. When we are asked for a detailed definition, however, we tend to hesitate while searching for appropriate words. A suggested definition of cremation is the: "The mechanical and/or thermal or other dissolution process that reduces human remains to bone fragments." Cremation includes the processing and usually includes the pulverization of the bone fragments.
Benefits of Cremation?
- Migration to retirement locations is increasing. – As families move around they are less likely to have family nearby to visit a grave site.
- Cremation has become acceptable. – In 2000, just over 26 percent of deceased were cremated in the United States, growing to an estimated 40 percent by 2010.
- Environmental considerations are becoming more important. – Growing public awareness of issues lead many to feel “land should be left for the living”.
- Ties to tradition are becoming weaker. – Nationally, fewer people are choosing traditional memorial services.
- Regional differences are diminishing. – There is a national growing acceptance of cremation.
- Religious restrictions are diminishing. – For example, the Catholic Church lifted its cremation ban in 1963.
- Greater flexibility in memorialization services. – Options for cremation services are almost limitless.
- People are dying older and choosing cremation for themselves. – It is no longer left to the family to decide.
The decision to cremate is an individual and personal decision. Research has been done to try and understand the most common reasons people choose cremation.
While some people in their 40's and 50's may think it's too early to preplan, people who do say that prearranging their funerals is smart financial planning and gives them added peace of mind knowing they aren't leaving this burden to family members. By taking time now to collect cost information and calmly making choices related to your own funeral arrangements, you'll be protecting your family against the stress of having to make these decisions at a time of extreme emotional stress. This way you can carefully choose specific items you want and need ... and pay for them now.
According to the funeral-industry sponsored Wirthlin Report, the five primary reasons why cremation is chosen are as follows.
- Saves Money (30%) – On average, cremation is one-third the cost of burial.
- Saves Land (13%) – Even if you choose to bury ashes, it takes about one-tenth of the land for up to two sets of cremated remains, compared to burying two people in one plot.
- Simpler (8%) – With a direct cremation, the family or loved one never needs to go to a funeral home. All paperwork can be handled from home.
- Body Not in Earth (6%) – Some like the environmental responsibility aspect while others simply do not welcome the idea of being “buried”.
- Personal Preference (6%)