Although cremation has been around for a while, its recent swoop up to popularity has caught some people by surprise. It's not as well understood as in-ground burial yet, but if you're going to make an intelligent decision about which funeral arrangement you want to use when you plan your own funeral, you'll need to educate yourself not only on the basics of cremation but also on the characteristics that set it apart from more traditional funerals. Here are four crucial ways in which it differs.
1. It provides more opportunities to say a meaningful goodbye
Cremation isn't actually the final step. You can leave instructions for what you want your loved ones to do with your cremains after the process is over, or you can allow them to make that decision on their own. Either way, there are dozens of options available. They can scatter your ashes in one of your favorite places, carry them around the world and then put them on a rocket to space, or scatter them at sea to symbolize your love for marine life and sailing.
2. It makes it much easier to keep your memorial of your loved one nearby
Cremation, whether it's for yourself or for a loved one, can actually make the grieving process easier. With the traditional paradigm of in-ground burial, there's a memorial in a cemetery that you can visit if you want to feel close to your loved one. However, with cremation, you can keep the ashes on the mantlepiece in an urn and create a little shrine (although you can certainly bury them in a cemetery as well if you so choose). You can even have some of the ashes placed into a one-of-a-kind object that you carry with you everywhere you go.
3. It's much easier on the wallet, making it less of a strain for loved ones
If you're worried about how your descendants will afford your funeral, cremation is a great way to reduce this worry. Even if you can only leave a little money to help with the process, cremation won't put nearly as much of a strain on your grieving relatives as other types of burial could. For example, cremation doesn't require fancy caskets, paying for a grave plot, and so on.
4. It allows dozens of opportunities to personalize your memorial
In addition to allowing for closer-to-home memorial options, cremation allows you to request a personalized memorial that suits your character and even offers enough flexibility that you can choose one memorial and have your descendants choose another, splitting the ashes between the two options. For example, you could choose to have some of your ashes interred in a memorial reef and allow your surviving family members to keep some in an urn on the mantelpiece. Other possibilities include having cremains scattered at sea, in the wild, from an airplane or hot air balloon, or in space, or even having them placed in a memorial object such as a paperweight, teddy bear, or piece of jewelry.
These four differences show how different cremation can be from in-ground burial and how many heretofore unprecedented options it can offer. For more information, talk to a professional like Ryan-Parke Funeral Home.