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20 Reasons Why People Are Choosing Cremation

Reasons why people are choosing cremation

More and more people are choosing cremation as a final disposition method. Cremation is on the rise, and there are many factors involved in this trend – from cost to claustrophobia, from religious considerations to the convenience of Skype, there are not only broad trends but also uniquely specific reasons why more and more people choose cremation over burial.

Here are five general, broad-brush reasons why people are choosing cremation, followed by specific comments from actual people on why they have decided to go with cremation.

General Reasons Why People Are Choosing Cremation

1. Cost

Reasons to Choose Cremation

Cremation generally costs 40-50% less than traditional ground burial overall. Cremation does not require a grave or headstone, many families skip embalming, cremation urns are generally cheaper than caskets, and so on.

2. Simplicity

Reasons to Choose Cremation

Cremation can remove the need for the more elaborate ground burial ceremony involving casket, viewings, pall bearers, etc. An urn is smaller and therefore much easier to handle than a full-sized casket.

3. Flexibility

Reasons to Choose Cremation

As mentioned above an urn is much smaller than a casket and therefore very easy to transport and/or store at home. Cremation also frees up the timeframe, so you can hold on to the remains indefinitely until you and your family arrange burial, scattering, or some other method of disposition for the remains.

4. Environmental concerns

Reasons to Choose Cremation

Traditional burial takes up space in the earth and often involves heavy doses of chemicals (when the body is embalmed). Cremation does take its toll with carbon emissions, but as equipment and technology improves the impact on the environment is lessening. There is some debate, but generally cremation is considered more “green” and eco-friendly.

5. Less tradition, more personal

Reasons to Choose Cremation

While family and religious traditions are still very important to people, there is a general trend away from traditionalism, or tradition for the sake of tradition. Instead, families prefer to celebrate the individual in a unique and personal way. Cremation offers the flexibility for loved ones to design a completely one of a kind memorial and disposition. Scattering ashes is a popular choice, and this can be done in a myriad of ways: at sea, in your backyard, from a helicopter, planted as a memorial tree, shot off in fireworks, and so on.

Specific Reasons Why People Are Choosing Cremation

6. Space availability at cemetery of choice

Reasons to Choose Cremation

A reader on an advice column blog nots that their father, a WWII veteran, planned on burial at National Veteran’s Cemetery, but the only option available was interment in the veteran’s columbarium wall and thus cremation was necessary. (1)

7. Claustrophobia

Reasons to Choose Cremation

The idea of being buried awakes deep-seeded fears in many people: “I’m to claustrophobic to be buried.” (2)

8. Nobody’s science project

Reasons to Choose Cremation

“I’m opting for cremation when my time comes. I don’t want to be dug up in the future for someone’s science project, grave robbers or archaeologists.” (3)

9. General space

Reasons to Choose Cremation

“I figure there’s no reason to take up space when I’m gone.” (4)

10. Mobility

Reasons to Choose Cremation

“I’ve also decided on cremation, more because of moving around a lot and not wanting to leave a place where somebody is expected to take care of a site years after anybody who knew and cared about me is long gone.” (5)

11. To be buried near loved ones

Reasons to Choose Cremation

One commenter on a discussion forum notes that it is nice to visit the grave of a loved one and just “be where she is.” (6) With nearness, there can be a feeling of connectivity with the departed loved ones. Since there is often not room available for a full-size casket burial, many families can arrange to have the much smaller urn with cremated ashes buried with or near other loved ones and family members.

12. Multiple scattering sites

Reasons to Choose Cremation

Several commenters on a Dear Abby column expressed the desire to be scattered or buried at multiple sites – on a family farm, in the ocean, a favorite spot on Prince Edward Island, back home in Germany, etc. Cremation allows for as many or as few disposition locations as you choose. (7)

13. To donate body to science

Reasons to Choose Cremation

Many people choose to donate their bodies to medical science after their death. This can mean research, organ donation, or a combination of the two. Some prefer this as a means of generosity to others even after they have departed this life. As one commenter notes, “If any part of me can help someone – my heart, my corneas, my skin … then I want to help other people who are still living.” (8) Afterwards, the body is cremated and the remains are given back to the family, freeing your loved ones of the cost of cremation.

14. To be part of a memorial reef

Reasons to Choose Cremation

Scuba divers and ocean lovers can have their remains become part of the Neptune Memorial Reef, an underwater mausoleum designed and maintained by the Neptune Society as a home for sea life and a destination for divers. (9)

15. Sharing jewelry

Reasons to Choose Cremation

“Because of the proliferation of fine mini-urns — which may be used as jewelry — I intend to have a portion of my ashes distributed to a few of the women who have touched my life in various ways over the years.” (10)

16. To become a diamond

Reasons to Choose Cremation

Modern technology allows cremated remains to be transformed into diamonds. (11)

17. To skip the whole ‘rotting in a box’ thing

Reasons to Choose Cremation

“Cremated. Its cheaper and I don’t like the thought of ‘rotting in a box’!” (12)

18. To be planted as a tree

Reasons to Choose Cremation

Using the remains to plant a memorial tree is a growing trend which allows family members a “living memorial” to visit and enjoy, while giving back to the environment. (13)

19. To allow time for arranging the memorial

Reasons to Choose Cremation

“My grandmother was cremated and the service was planned out so that everyone had time to make it from their scattered homes to attend. Cremation allows for time to plan a service that is thoughtful and for family to all make time to get there. It allows for months to pass after the death if need be.” (14)

 20. To always be with loved ones

Reasons to Choose Cremation

Cremated remains can be put into an attractive urn and kept in the home, often set on a mantle or bedstand, or as part of a special memorial space. This allows your loved one to always be with you in a special way.

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12 thoughts on “20 Reasons Why People Are Choosing Cremation

  1. I want o be sent off in a viking-style burial, but the full body version isn’t legal where I live, so cremation is the better option.

  2. […] 20 Reasons Why People Are Choosing Cremation – Comments from real people on why their family chose cremation. […]

  3. I appreciate your tip on how cremation services can provide flexibility that a traditional casket couldn’t. I imagine that having that added flexibility would reduce a lot of the stress that planning a funeral entails. My wife and I are getting older and have recently begun writing our last wills and testaments, maybe we should consider being cremated to reduce some of the stress caused by our passings.

  4. A family member of mine has just passed away and there’s complication knowing how he’s going to be buried. I don’t want that type of chaos when I pass away. It would be nice to choose now what I want. However, in order to do that, I need to look at my options. Thanks for sharing a little bit about cremation.

  5. It’s interesting that you begin your list with PRICE. In the past, funeral homes did not want cremation to be more affordable than burial and would often price them the same. Today’s savvy consumer knows better and I agree, price must be in the top 3-4 reasons why consumers will choose cremation over burial.

  6. I think it’s great that cremation helps people be buried at multiple sites, instead of just the one. I have always wanted to be buried in my favorite places. I will have to start considering being cremated instead of a traditional burial.

  7. It seems like nowadays more people are choosing cremation over burials. This is something that I find interesting and wanting to know more about. My guess is that it could just be the simplicity of it just like the author mentioned. It would be neat to have the ashes of a beloved family member or friend on an urn just like the author talked to about.

  8. Thank you for the information on cremation. I think it’s really cool that you can be planted as a tree when you die. I have always wanted my legacy to go one after I die, and a tree would be a very good way to do that.

  9. I remember taking long drives to go to visit the grave of a loved one. Sometimes we would even go from cemetery to cemetery to find all of our loved ones. This is why I like the point that the article makes that cremation adds mobility. It is easier to keep your loved ones close.

  10. I love the idea to use the remains of somebody to plant a tree. It is such a great idea, and a symbol that life always goes on. That is something I am definitely going to do when the time come.

  11. Former tobacco users will love the idea of being able to smoke again.

  12. I like that you point out that one of the reasons people prefer cremation is they are able to be near their loved ones after they have passed away. I can see why this would be a good reason to think about doing this. My grandparents are both in their 90’s. I’ll have to ask them if they have planned their funeral and if they want to be cremated.

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