Cremations are constantly on the rise in the United Kingdom (UK) and across the globe. Although the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic has contributed to its increase in 2020, its trend began in 2016. More people prefer this arrangement for several reasons such as, convenience, cost, eco-consciousness, innovation/creativity, and among others.
The process of arranging cremation is much easier than that of a traditional burial, which makes it convenient for the mourners. It also costs less in many countries like the UK, as its average cost is £3,858 whilst the basic burials cost £4,975.
Because traditional burials in cemeteries would take up more land and involve heavy doses of chemicals, eco-conscious people prefer a cremation. Unique ideas for cremation memorials are becoming a trend too. With urns and keepsakes, people can choose what would best represent their departed loved ones as they come in different styles, sizes, themes, and forms.
After the cremation, people also have the freedom to choose whether to keep the remains at home, scatter the ashes into the sea or any memorable site, or incorporate the ashes in fireworks as to have a beautiful firework display whilst scattering them into the heavens.
Amid its popularity, myths and misconceptions about cremation still exist. Here are the examples.1. The ashes are the body.
Unlike the popular belief where the cremated remains, commonly referred as the ashes, are composed of the body—its organs and other vital parts, the ashes are just the bones which are later processed into that greyish sand-like powder.
This is because during the incinerator or the cremator is set to a very high temperature, all that is left will be the bones.2. The cremated remains may accidentally be mixed up with someone else's.
This is unlikely to happen because only one body is placed in a chamber at a time. In each cremation, the chamber is first cleaned and vacuumed. Crematoriums have guidelines that are carefully handled and implemented by operators.3. Memorial arrangements do not happen after cremation.
Funeral services can still happen after cremation. The urn can be brought to the event and can be treated like a casket would. Even more innovative, they can end the service with the firework display as aforementioned. If the people do not plan on scattering ashes, they can choose whether to bury the urn in the final resting place or keep it at home.4. Only urns hold the ashes.
How ashes are kept is constantly evolving more creatively. If not with an urn, people can choose to hold the ashes in a keepsake jewellery or art piece, which are perfect ways to hold the ashes discreetly.
Keepsake jewellery is in the form of a bracelet, charm, ring, pendant, or glass jewellery; whilst an art piece is a framed artwork usually made of glass. The ashes of the deceased family member are infused in these beautifully crafted pieces.
Keepsakes are becoming popular because people feel that they are much closer to their departed loved ones as they can be carried anywhere. These are also crafted in stylish yet very personal ways.5. Cremation is a new practice.
Although cremation is gaining popularity nowadays, it is actually an old tradition. Like the traditional burials, cremation already existed in the ancient times—in the 12th century BCE. Scholars claim that the practice of cremation began during the early Stone Age in some parts of Europe and the Near East.
Whether it is a traditional burial or a cremation, grand or simple—honoring loved ones in these ways is a loving gesture to express farewells. Knowing the difference between the two, as well as their pros and cons, can help families choose the best one for them.