Did you know that cremation as a funeral practice goes back to 1000 BCE? The ritual was introduced by the Greeks to the Western world. There are other cultures across the rest of the world that practice cremation, in India for instance, it is a long-held practice among Hindus and Buddhists.
Many choose to cremate a loved one instead of going with the usual burial service. There are also a growing number of individuals who pre-arrange or prepay for their funeral service choosing cremation.
Cremation is gaining popularity, but there are still some misapprehensions and a lack of knowledge about the practice. The choice of course is a personal one or a decision you will arrive at together as a family. If you are unsure about what you want to choose for a loved one or yourself, take some time to go over the cremation services to understand if it resonates with your needs, before discussing options with your family.
Here are some things you may not know about cremation that will help you understand what might work best for you, your customs, your practices and any other considerations.
Firstly, irrespective of whether you choose an in-ground burial or cremation, know that you can have a memorial service or any type of funeral ceremony you see fit for your loved one. There are many options to choose from if you are discussing it with a funeral director or even with your family members. The funeral can be as elaborate or as simple as you wish.
One of the reasons a cremation service is chosen over a burial is that it provides a more personal experience for those left behind. They can scatter the ashes of their loved ones in a location close to the heart of the departed or somewhere with some special significance to those left behind. You can choose to scatter the ashes out at sea or a lake, in your garden or even beneath a memorial tree. The possibilities are endless.
There is the misconception that your loved one will be cremated together with others. This is not allowed under legal regulations. Additionally, crematoriums are designed to accommodate only one coffin at a time. Once incinerated the ashes are cleared completely before the next coffin is inserted for cremation.
You can also request the funeral directors or the crematorium (if you plan to skip going through a funeral parlour) to be present with your family and others during the cremation.
While most religions permit cremation, some religions have guidelines on how the ashes have to be handled or disposed of. Speak to your religious guide about what these might be so you can incorporate them into the ceremony you have planned before and after cremation.
You can opt to prepay and pre-arrange for your cremation in consultation with your loved ones. The biggest argument for doing this is that you lock in on today’s prices for a funeral service and cremation sometime in the future.