If you're planning a funeral for a loved one or friend, or if you are making your own end-of-life decisions, one of the primary choices you'll face is whether to have the remains cremated or buried in a cemetery. Cremation is becoming increasing popular in the United States. According to the Cremation Society of America, nearly half of all Americans who died in 2015 (the latest year for which statistics are available) were cremated. That number is expected to steadily increase for the next five years. It's understandable why so many people and families are choosing cremation as an end-of-life service. Cremation offers many benefits to the family and to the planet.
Benefits of choosing cremation
1. Lower cost. Cremation is dramatically less expensive than a traditional cemetery burial. The cost of a direct cremation (a cremation without embalming, a viewing, or a coffin) can be less than $1,000. That compares to the average cost of $6,600 for a funeral with a traditional cemetery burial. With cremation, there is no need for a cemetery plot, a headstone or a vault. Depending on the type of service you choose, you may not need an expensive coffin either.
2. Can be easier for the family. When friends and family live far away, it can be difficult and expensive to travel at the last minute to attend a funeral. When you opt for cremation, family and friends can plan a memorial service around their schedules and be able to take advantage of better, advanced booking airfares.
3. Remains are transportable. Since cremated remains are placed in an urn or other vessel, they can be transported with a family when they move. They don't have to worry about visiting a cemetery far away from their new home or being concerned about the upkeep of the cemetery plot.
4. Kinder to the planet. Where a person is cremated, no toxic embalming chemicals need to be used to preserve the body, chemicals that can leak into the environment. In addition, with cremation, no land has to be used to bury the remains.
While cremation isn't necessarily the right choice for every person or every family, it does offer a number advantages over a traditional cemetery burial. These include being less expensive, making it easier for family and friends who live in other cities, freeing up land that would otherwise be used for cemeteries, and allowing the remains to be taken with the family if they should move. To learn more, contact a local funeral home.