Funeral and Cremation Innovations:
In today’s world, consumers will often organize just one or two funerals and burials in their lifetimes, and decades will often pass between visits with a funeral director. So it may come as a surprise, to some consumers who find themselves in the difficult position of planning a memorial ceremony for a loved one, that today’s memorial industry has developed an amazing number of innovations in the past twenty years or so. Here is a summary of just a few of the amazing (and surprisingly affordable) products now available that can help make organizing a funeral or burial as comforting an experience as possible.
Those who have not planned or organized a funeral in some time will likely find it interesting that traditional funerals can be, and are quite frequently, held for people who have been or will be cremated. With the dramatic rise in the number of cremations (experts predict that 80-90 percent of all deaths will result in cremation by 2025, and currently that number already approaches 50 percent in many regions) in the United States, funeral planners have created a large number of options — something for just about every need.
Funerals are now routinely held in which the deceased’s body is presented in a casket — even if the body is to be cremated after the service. This option is now routinely exercised thanks to innovations in both the construction and marketing of caskets. Building techniques have developed to the extent that beautiful, prestigious-looking wooden caskets can be built affordably and, after being displayed at a funeral service, serve as a cremation container as well. This can be of great comfort to many family members who may have, at one time, been uncomfortable with the idea of transferring their loved one’s body from a “display” casket into the container in which the cremation will take place. Now this choice does not have to be made.
Besides the development of low cost elegant wooden caskets, many loved one wants to conduct a funeral for a cremated loved-one are comforted to learn that a large number of beautiful urns are available for display during a service. And, just as in the case mentioned above in which the same casket can now be used as both a funeral display and cremation container, there is no longer any need for family members whose loved ones remains will be scattered across some special place to transport ashes from their original container. A special type of “biodegradable” urn is now available in a variety of styles and designs that are perfect for display at a memorial service and can also be used for the “scattering.” Biodegradable urns are often buried, of course, but — especially when the burial is done at sea — the scattering is done naturally once the urn as degraded. This is a comforting thought for families who do not like the idea of transferring ashes to another container or even separating the ashes from their original container. (This will even accommodate some religions which allow cremation, so long as the ashes are not intentionally separated. It is probable that the leaders of these churches, when they established these rules were actually trying to all-but “outlaw” cremation by simply making it impractical for those who did not want to bury the ashes in their original container. These leaders, of course, probably did not anticipate the innovation of biodegradable urns.)
Aside from the development of biodegradable cremation urns, a number of other surprising cremation-related innovations have become available in recent years. Probably the most intriguing of these innovations is cremation jewelry, which will allow loved ones to keep the memory of their loved ones alive — and near to their heart — for their entire lives. These amazingly diverse pieces of fine jewelry are available in a huge variety of sizes, styles and even materials, so that there is something for everyone’s taste and need. All of these pieces have the unique feature of a place in which a small amount of cremains can be stored permanently. Some of the designs are such that they can be made to appear discrete: they can either be worn privately under clothes, or they can be worn as standard jewelry pieces, so that no one has to know they contain cremation ashes. They are also, of course, available in styles in which the jewelry does not even attempt to hide the fact that it contains remains (clear plastic bottles are included in the design, for example, in some cases).
And these are just some of the many unique, even inspiring, innovations available today to make sure that every funeral, cemetery burial or even cremation, is as fitting as it can be.