Every day, the cremation options grow in the United States and around the globe, but misconceptions remain. Some believe it’s just a cremation, no service, no memorial, no opportunity for friends and family to say farewell.
That is just one cremation option. It is typically referred to as a direct cremation, which generally avoids a memorial or funeral service. The body transfers to a crematorium, the cremation process occurs, and the cremated remains go to a designated family member. (Direct cremations are sometimes followed by a memorial service at a funeral home or another location.)
But that is actually one of many cremation options. There are also funeral options for cremation. Many choose to hold what many of us typically think of as a traditional funeral, with a gathering on one day and a service the next. Often, the body is present in a casket before the cremation process.
We refer to those as traditional cremations, and you have several options there, including:
- A service at your place of worship before the cremation
- A service at a funeral home before the cremation
- A service at either of the above after the cremation
- A memorial at a later date at home or a favorite location
You can have all the elements of a traditional funeral including songs, poems, eulogies, flowers, a memorial book to sign, prayer cards – and even a burial at the cemetery.
Many people choose to have an urn buried at the cemetery in the family plot or sometimes in the existing grave of a loved one.
Green cremation options
We don’t often associate cremation with the green movement, but there are some elements of green cremation you may not have considered, too.
While the process of cremation does release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, we believe it’s important to offset our carbon footprint. That’s why we partner with NativeEnergy of Burlington, Vt. on projects that reduce greenhouse gases. Our financial contribution counteracts 33 tons of CO2 being released into the atmosphere over the 10-year life of this project.
One of the projects we donate to provides clean drinking water for the Sidama Zone in Ethiopia. NativeEnergy utilizes an electricity-free water filtration system, significantly reducing the region’s carbon footprint by reducing the need for people to boil water over fires so it is safe to drink.
While we work on reducing our cremation process carbon footprint, you are able to positively affect the environment by choosing to use your cremated remains to grow a tree. Bios Urns offers a plantable, biodegradable urn that will grow into a tree. You can choose the type of tree.
Some people take comfort in planting a tree at their homes, feeling their loved one is near and still offering comfort and protection via the branches. Bios Urns also offers biodegradable urns for planting beloved pets’ cremated remains.
You may also want to help protect the marine environment. A company called Eternal Reefs creates artificial coral reefs to aid the ocean floor. Your cremated remains can be placed inside one of the reefs, providing important habitats for marine life at a time when reefs are deteriorating.
This post just scratches the surface of cremation options, but we wanted you to know that choosing cremation does not do away with your choices to have a traditional, respectful farewell for yourself or your loved one.
We often say or hear that funerals are for the living, and that is true. For many of us, the visitation or full church service offers closure and moves us toward healing.
Some of us want to say goodbye to a loved one, at rest, in a casket. Others of us prefer a closed casket or no casket at all. If the service is post-cremation, an urn may be present. Or, just a portrait of the deceased in happier days.
The point is, you have many options, and we’re here to answer any questions or address any concerns to ensure you have the farewell you envisioned for yourself or a loved one.
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