Someone will need to decide what happens to your body when you die. You might take the confusion out of the equation for your relatives with an end-of-life plan. Otherwise, your next of kin will make that decision.
Jump ahead to these sections:
- 1. Cremation allows you more flexibility when scheduling the funeral
- 2. You may spend less on cremation than a traditional burial
- 3. You can save money on other aspects of the funeral with cremation
- 4. Cremated remains transport more easily than bodies in a casket
- 5. More benefits of cremation
Have you put off creating an end-of-life plan because you can’t decide what you want to do with your body after death? This article will give you some of the benefits of cremation instead of a traditional burial if you consider that option.
Before you make your choice, you might want to learn about both processes. Look up how cremation works as well as the burial requirements for the cemetery you would most likely utilize. Finally, you might also want to do some research to discover additional end-of-life options that might be available in your local area.
1. Cremation allows you more flexibility when scheduling the funeral
Even though you may not want to think about it, the structure of the human body begins to change soon after death. Although modern embalming techniques and proper storage can slow this change, an open-casket viewing can only happen relatively soon after a loved one’s death.
Even if you choose to have a closed-casket funeral, storing the body for a lengthy period of time before the service usually won’t work.
On the other hand, cremation can allow you to have a funeral whenever the family can gather. You can wait for a loved one serving overseas to go on leave before having your grandpa’s funeral. You can schedule the funeral to not interfere with a family wedding, graduation, winter weather, or hurricane season.
2. You may spend less on cremation than a traditional burial
In most cases, direct cremation costs less than a traditional burial. A direct cremation occurs when the body goes directly from the place of death to the crematorium. The body does not get embalmed or go in a casket for viewing.
However, you have other options. You can still have the body embalmed and available for an open-casket visitation before cremation. These options will add to the cost of the funeral.
On the other hand, having the body transported to the crematory soon after death offers one of the least expensive ways to say goodbye to a loved one.
3. You can save money on other aspects of the funeral with cremation
You may still need to purchase a casket when your loved one gets cremated, but “cremation caskets” cost much less than a traditional casket. Those who choose cremation save money on transportation costs as well.
4. Cremated remains transport more easily than bodies in a casket
Did your loved one die a long way from home? Transporting a body for burial, especially to an international destination, costs a lot. Some families choose to cremate the body at the location of the death and then transport the cremated remains to the final resting place.
The problem of transporting a body comes up more often than you would think. Some families may struggle to pay to transport a body even several hundred miles to a specific burial site. This problem goes away with cremation.
5. You can “preserve” cremated remains in many different ways
Did you know that you can pay to press your loved one’s ashes into the vinyl of a record album?
You can also put a portion of your loved one’s cremated remains into a stunning piece of glass artwork for display in your family’s home.
Are you a fan of diamonds? If so, did you know that you can use your deceased family member’s remains to grow a diamond or other gem?
Companies have developed methods of utilizing cremation ashes to create a wide variety of memorial items. For the most part, a cremated body offers the only option.
6. Feuding families may find it easier to have separate services with a cremated body
Was the decedent important to two feuding groups? Instead of fighting over the rights to the remains, you may reach a compromise by cremating the body and dividing the ashes.
This benefit of cremation may seem over the top to some readers, but fighting over a loved one’s body can occur if the deceased was a member of multiple family units.
If having everyone present for one service invites disaster, consider dividing up the remains and having two separate events. Each family then can decide what to do with the final resting place of their portion of the decedent’s remains.
Tip: Solidifying ashes into the form of cremation stones can make divvying up the remains even easier. If you send all of the ashes in to Parting Stone, you'll receive back between 40 and 60 beautiful, natural-looking stones that you can give to family members.
7. Cremation saves land
Some aspects of cremation can wreck the environment. The cremation process takes a lot of energy and it also causes greenhouse gases.
At the same time, others view cremation as an eco-friendly option over burial. One reason to choose cremation over a burial involves saving one of Earth’s finite resources: land.
Even so, crematoriums must heat up to over 2,000 degrees with every cremation, which takes a lot of energy. (Families do not tolerate mass cremations.) Other eco-friendly options may exist but you must first see if those options exist in your area.
8. Catholics now accept cremation
Several years ago, the Vatican released a statement called “Instruction Ad resurgendum cum Christo,” regarding the burial of the deceased and the conservation of the ashes after cremation.
Read the statement so you fully understand the teaching of the church regarding cremation. In short, while the church prefers traditional burial, cremation can happen in some circumstances.
9. You can more easily plan end-of-life services with a cremated body
A funeral involves a lot of planning, especially with the transportation of the body. You may need to move the body from the site where the body was prepared to the funeral location. From there, it needs to go to the cemetery or mausoleum.
Some families worry about what the deceased should wear in the casket. If the family chooses to directly cremate the body, family members do not need to pick an outfit. They also don’t have to concern themselves with how the deceased looks at the funeral.
A cremated body often means a simpler funeral. You can easily transport cremated remains and can even fly with the remains of your loved one without too much of a fuss.
10. Cremation has risen in popularity
Over the last several years, cremation has become more popular than traditional burials. The National Funeral Directors Association’s 2020 report says that the projected burial rate is 37.5% (down 7.7% from 2015), and the projected cremation rate hits 56% (up 8.1% from 2015).
While previous generations may not have been comfortable with the practice, younger people embrace cremation and the industry surrounding it.
More people also have “scattering ceremonies,” and cemeteries often offer columbarium niches and garden walls so people can store their loved one’s cremated remains for eternity.
Create an End-of-Life Plan Once You Decide
You should decide what happens to your body after you die. If you feel passionate about one type of burial over another, make sure you share that information with others. Don’t assume that your loved ones will remember your choice, especially as they grieve.
Let Cake help you create an end-of-life plan that you can easily share with others. Your mourners will feel comforted knowing that they will follow your final wishes. You can face your mortality peacefully knowing that the final arrangements have been made.
- “Instruction Ad Resurgendum cum Christo regarding the burial of the deceased and the conservation of the ashes in the case of cremation. “Congregation from the Doctrine of the Faith. https://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_20160815_ad-resurgendum-cum-christo_en.html
- Statistics.” National Funeral Directors Association. https://nfda.org/news/statistics.