When a loved one passed away, the family has to decide whether to bury the remains of the deceased or choose cremation. It can be a totally unpleasant decision to make, especially if the heart is not ready to let go. Amidst the grief and bereavement, making urgent decisions is necessary at this point in time.

What is cremation?

Technically, cremation is described as the mechanical or thermal process done to reduce the human body of the deceased person to small bone fragments or ashes.

Cremation has been growing in popularity as one of the options for memorializing loved ones who passed away. As popularity grows, the options for cremation become endless as well. In order to choose the most appropriate cremation option for the person you loved so much, it is important to understand what cremation is and what things to consider before making the decisions.

Why cremation increases in popularity?

Cremation is becoming popular in different parts of the world because of many reasons. In Singapore, 50% of the population prefers cremation over burial. In some parts of Asia, the rate is even higher. Although it is not the latest trend in terms of burial, the increase in rate is dramatically noticeable. Here are the reasons why people choose cremation instead:

  • Cremation is more affordable compared to burial.

The average cost of expenses for a traditional burial ranges from $7,000 to $8,000, while in cremation, the costs of expenses are about one-third of that amount. Most families in the mid-level down to the lower level cannot afford the costs of funeral and burial. Such a big amount of expenses costs a lot for them.

One may opt for cremation and pay for it even before death happens. There are many funeral homes that offer pre-paid funeral insurance that covers the expenses for the funeral service and cremation for a reasonable price.

  • Cremation is now part of religious progress.

As religious denominations become progressive, the view of the cremation process has been accepted little by little through the years. More churches are now adopting the practice of funeral masses for cremated remains.

  • Cremation allows families to bring along cremated remains to places they want to.

Whether they are in a distant country or they have plans of migrating to another one for good, it is easier for people to carry the urn of ashes. This is a practical way for family members to show their respect and care to deceased loved ones.

What are the benefits of cremation?

There are several benefits in choosing cremation instead of burial. Here are some of the benefits:

  • Cremation reduces financial stress on the bereaved family.

At this time of bereavement, it will be a great help for the family if the funeral expenses are low and within the budget. With cremation being much cheaper than traditional burial, many people afford a respectful and loving memorialization of a deceased family member.

  • Cremation provides comfort to the family.

The portability of urns that contain the ashes makes it easier for the bereaved family to feel comforted. It also allows the family to grieve privately near the urn. In case the surviving family has plans of moving away to another town or city, they can simply take the urn with them.

  • Cremation provides more options.

Cremation comes in a wide variety of options in terms of disposition. Some families opt to keep the urn in a columbarium while some keep the urn in a family gravesite. Others, on the other hand, keep the ashes in a keepsake object that they can wear every day.

  • Cremation requires less space.

There are more spaces or land plots needed for the traditional burial. With cremation, a smaller space or site would be enough. Cremains or urns can be kept in a cabinet-like gravesite or in a columbarium. Some cemeteries and chapels already have spaces for cremains.

What are the options for cremation?

There are three popular options for cremation:

  • Funeral service before and after the cremation.

The family may hold funeral service and viewing in the most traditional way before or after the cremation. The funeral service provider offers a cremation casket or rental casket to be used temporarily for the funeral, if the family chooses to hold the service before the cremation.

  • Direct Cremation

Commonly known as simple cremation or immediate cremation, direct cremation is the option wherein the body is directly cremated before the family holds a memorial service. After the service, the family brings the remains to its final disposition.

What are the options for storage or disposal of cremains?

The options on what to do with the cremains are wide and endless as the process becomes popular. More families choose what suits them best depending on their tradition, belief, needs, and budget. If you want to plan for it more efficiently, consider these cremation options:

  • Keep in a gravesite

One option for the keeping of cremains after the funeral service and memorial service is to place the urn in a gravesite. Most cemeteries nowadays offer smaller piece of land or plot for where the urn can be buried like a traditional casket. There are also cemeteries with columbarium where urns can be stored permanently.

  • Dispose on land, water, or air

Only if the state or city allows it, the ashes or cremated remains can be scattered on land, air, or water if the family of the deceased person requested for it. In some countries and cities, you need to secure a permit from the local government.

  • Cremation memorial

The ashes are placed in the form of a memorial object such as glass, diamonds, or jewelry. Most of the service providers or crematoriums offer these services, but the price is expensive.

There are more options for the storage of cremains or ashes as part of memorializing a deceased loved one. As cremation continues to be more popular and well-accepted in the funeral industry, you can expect more options to arise in the near future.

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