Why Americans Choose Cremation

why do americans choose cremation

The Cremation Association of North America and the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) both report that Americans are more frequently choosing cremation as a funeral choice.

During the past fifteen years, the cremation rate in America almost doubled. In 1999, about 24.8% of funerals were cremations. By 2014, this percentage increased to 46.7%. The trend is for cremation to continue to increase and it is becoming the most popular choice for most Americans.

Americans Choose Cremation for Good Reasons

There are many good reasons to choose cremation when compared to a traditional burial, which include:

Economic Reasons

The average cost of a traditional burial in the USA as reported by Fox Business News is $6,600 when using a simple metal casket. Additionally, the cost of the burial plot and a cement grave liner, adds up to $3,000 more. The top-of-the line metal caskets costs over $10,000. Annual maintenance fees for burial plots continue for a long time.

An average cost for a cremation is around $3,200. For those who have a lack of financial resources, a basic cremation, without a professional memorial service, costs around $600. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has a checklist of funeral items that helps calculate the total costs.

Consumers are now increasingly using online resources, such as Simple Cremation Online to find cremation solutions that are appropriate and affordable within their available budgets.

Freedom and Flexibility for the Memorial Ceremony

A cremation allows the celebration of the life of the departed in almost any location, with only a very few restrictions.

Based on the wishes of the person that passed or the desires of those remaining, some part, or all of the cremains (ashes):

  • are kept in a special place,
  • are stored at home,
  • are spread (scattered) in a natural setting or at sea,
  • or placed in a location that has a special significance to the person and their life.

Cremains can by buried in an urn just like a casket or stored in a crypt. Compared to the burial of a casket, a cremation offers flexibility and more freedom in the memorial ceremony. The memorial ceremony does not have to happen right away, because the cremains do not have the same urgency as dealing with the full body of a deceased person.

The NFDA offers a detailed discussion of cremation options.

Increasing Religious Acceptance

Cremation is an acceptable practice for many religious faiths and in some cases is a requirement.

Hindus must be cremated. Buddhists are most likely cremated.

In the Christian faith, cremation is an acceptable practice for Baptists, Episcopalians, Catholics, Lutherans, Methodists, Mormons (permitted but burial preferred), Presbyterians (permitted but burial preferred), and Quakers.

Cremation is not permitted for Muslims, Orthodox Jews (cremation is allowed for Reform Jews), and Eastern Orthodox Christians.

Green Funerals

The newest trend is the concept of a “green funeral.” A green funeral avoids using materials that do not biodegrade and those that are toxic for the environment, such as formaldehyde used for embalming fluid. Cremains do not spread disease, are non-toxic, and environmentally friendly.

Summary

The increasing popularity of cremation in America shows that many are finding out that cremation is a good choice. To explore the various options, visit Simple Cremation Online for more information.

Why David Bowie Chose Cremation

why did David Bowie choose to be cremated

David Bowie’s career as a musician, actor, and performer, always had a sense of a unique and intriguing style. His last musical album, Blackstar, released January 8, 2016 on his sixty-ninth birthday. The album came out just before his death on January 10, 2016. It contains a song entitled, “Lazarus,” which is the same name as the Biblical character that Jesus rose from the dead.

This was David Bowie’s last gift to his fans and a stylish way to say good-bye. David Bowie knew he was dying. He made it clear that his last wish was to be cremated “without any fuss.” He did not want a funeral or any public memorial. He wanted to exit this life on his own terms and move on to the next experience.

Buddhist Traditions

This sentiment follows the Buddhist tradition. Upon his death, the Supreme Buddha was cremated.

The Buddhists believe that when a person’s dies their energy has left the body to either escape “Samsara,” if they reached Buddha-hood or return to have another life here on Earth. Samsara is the almost endless cycle of birth, death, and rebirth. The goal of the Buddhist practitioners is to try to gain enough merits while living on Earth in order not to have to return again by rebirth here.

Japanese Zen

David Bowie had a deep appreciation for Japanese culture, which was reflected in his style and interests. Zen is a type of Mahayana Buddhism, made famous for “koans,” which are paradoxical sayings and questions that do not have a clear answer, such as “When a tree falls in the forest, and there is no one there to hear it; does it make a sound?”

Zen Masters know when the time of their death is near. They gather friends and family to give a last good-bye. One Japanese Zen Master named Hofaku, upon nearing his time of death, called all his monk followers, and told them that his energy was diminishing, there is no reason for worry, yet his death is soon to come.

One monk asked the Master Hofaku, about the meaning of death. The Master told him that death is just the ways of things. The monk asked how to understand the two different states of being alive and being dead. In a typical Zen way, Master Hofaku said, “When it rains, it pours,” and then he died peacefully.

Memories of David Bowie

As reported in the UK Mirror, David Bowie made peace with his own impending death. He prepared his family for the transition. He made sure his wishes were known about what to do after his death. He died completely comfortable with the process. His last album had just come out. One of the last photos of the superstar shows him dapperly dressed in a suit and hat with a great big smile.

He was cremated in New York without any ceremony, with no friends or family in attendance.

David Bowie only wished to be remembered for the good times he experienced and his music. His life was a work of art. His simple cremation after his death completed it.

Summary

Many are choosing cremation for its elegance and affordability. To explore cremation options visit Simple Cremation Online.

Where Can I Put the Ashes?

where can I dispose of cremation ashes

The choice of cremation offers flexibility in how the cremains (ashes) are kept, where they are put, and how they can be shared with loved ones as a keepsake from those who passed. Moreover, the location for holding a memorial ceremony is less limited and the ceremony can be scheduled on a date that allows all those who wish to participate a chance to organize the time-off needed to attend.

Storage Containers

Popular containers use to store cremains include urns and boxes. Urns are made from metal, ceramic, carved stone, and beautifully finished concrete. Boxes are made from fine wood, carved stone, and metal as well. Many of those remaining, find comfort by placing the urn or box that holds the cremains in a prominent position in the home, such as on a bookshelf, on the top of a fireplace mantle, or in a special place that is created just for the purpose of remembering the loved one that passed.

Often a photograph is used with the urn or box to show the image of the person. Sometimes a few favorite items of the person are placed next to the urn or box. In the Asian traditions, a special place is made in the home for the express purpose of remembering and honoring a person’s ancestors.

One very nice way to commemorate the life of a person who passed, is to have an artist create a bust of that person with a hollow chamber in the center that is a suitable place to store the cremains.

If a physical structure was an important part of the person’s life, then the cremains can become part of that structure, where the location is often identified with a brass plaque telling the person’s name, birth date, and date of death, with some comment about the person’s life.

Outdoor Locations

As reported in Time magazine, scattering the ashes in a place that has meaning to the deceased person is very popular. Ashes can be scattered by hand, from small airplanes, and from boats in the sea. Usually, there are no restrictions in remote natural settings, about where the ashes can be scattered as long as the ceremony does not negatively affect others. For example, it would not be proper to spread ashes on a windy day at a crowded beach. It would be better to come in the early morning, when few people are there.

Permission is needed from the owners of private property to spread ashes on their land. Some restrictions apply to public spaces, so it is always best to check with local authorities. Many times, with advanced planning and permission it is possible to spread ashes in very special places. There are also companies that assist in the process, who have the legal permission to spread ashes on land and at sea.

Many sport stadiums and golf courses do not permit the practice as reported in the Washington Post. The Wall Street Journal says that some stadiums and public places set aside a special place for these ceremonies. Spreading ashes without permission in areas where it is not permitted is discouraged.

Summary

Many prefer cremation because the ceremony of spreading the ashes gives comfort to some and keeping the ashes in a special place gives comfort to others. To learn more about cremation options visit Simple Cremation Online.

Cremation Traditions that the World Embraces

Cremation has worldwide reverence as a very proper burial ceremony. Cremation, for centuries, was the choice to purify the dead body, not to pass on disease, and as a magnificent celebration of the life of the person that just passed.

Many ancient cultures selected cremation as the best way to conduct a memorial for those recently passed.

Here are a few examples:

Buddhism

The story of the Supreme Buddha was that he told his followers of his eminent death of his body. He prepared them for the moment of his transition. Of course, his followers were very sad. Nevertheless, he reminded them, that his main message was that life is not permanent. Everything changes. All people who live, eventually get sick and die.

The Supreme Buddha also taught those who observed his own time of facing death, how to die well. He died with intent. It is not possible to know if the story from history is actually true. Although, there were many witnesses. When it came time for death, the Supreme Buddha self-ignited.

After the fire ceased, the remains were small pieces of bones. These small pieces of bone are great treasures. They were taken by followers all across India and Asia and placed in memorials called stupas. There are hundreds of them that survive to this day.

Hinduism

Hindus in India understand that cremation is the proper way for a burial. It is both a religious matter and a practical matter.

Currently, India has a population of over 1,326,164,000 people. It would be impossible to bury a full body of everyone who dies in India. There is simply not enough room. In India, the Ganges River is sacred. People bathe in the water, brush their teeth, and use the water for cooking.

Open-air cremation occurs frequently on the banks of the Ganges River. The body of the deceased is prepared with fragrant oils and wrapped in white cotton fabric. It is placed on an elevated wood platform and then set afire. After the fire burns down completely, the ashes are tossed in the sacred Ganges River.

Vikings

A Viking burial sets the standard for excellent style. Leaders of the Viking tribes, who died, were laid out on a boat filled will aromatic wood and pitch that easily catches fire. The boat was cast into the sea after being set on fire.

The tide would take the boat out into the sea as it burned down to the water line. The Vikings believed the soul was set free by this method to join the gods in Valhalla.

Contemporary Practices

Americans embraced cremation as the most preferred choice for the burial ceremony. The main reasons are the purity of the process, the economic benefits, and the freedom to conduct a memorial ceremony in ways that elevate the love of the person that died.

While, it is not possible to bury a full human body in places that are the most happy places, it is possible to spread the ashes of any person in the places that make the nicest celebration of their memory.

Summary

Cremation is an excellent choice. To find out more please contact the kind staff at simplecremationonline.com to learn more about cremation and memorial ceremonies.

Important Information About Mailing The Cremated Remains of Your Loved Ones

There has recently been a significant change in the way that the United States Postal Service handles mailing cremated remains within the US. Cremated remains were typically shipped via Registered mail, and the package would be scanned at each sorting facility it went through before reaching its destination.

Now, all cremated remains will be classified as Priority Mail Express. In fact, you no longer have the option to ship them as Registered Mail. What this means to you is that they are treated the same as every other package. You are still given a tracking number that you can give to the recipient, but it will only be scanned three times: when it leaves the original post office, when it reaches its destination, and once more when it is delivered.

It is also important to note that if the recipient does not claim the package within two weeks, the remains will be returned to the sender.

We consider this important information because SimpleCremationOnline.com offers the mailing of cremated remains as a standard service. We work closely with the crematory to ensure that the cremated remains are mailed from their facility to you. We also understand that sometimes your family will wish to avoid traveling with or handling the remains, so we will ship to another location instead. Right now the United States Postal Service is the only carrier that you can use to deliver cremated remains.

The USPS has not changed the way that they ship remains internationally, which is also a service that we offer.

Have you ever used the postal service to receive or send cremated remains? How was your experience?

What is the Posi-ID Portal and why is it only available through SimpleCremationOnline.com?

If you were to ask someone what their biggest concern is about cremation they would likely tell you it is a fear they might not receive the correct ashes. This is a problem that has been highlighted in the media, so it’s understandably a legitimate concern for family members.

At SimpleCremationOnline, it is our mission to remove any fears about the cremation process and ensure the highest level of comfort and security.

You may find this hard to believe, but currently it’s legally required for the family to identify a body before cremation in only 35 of the 50 states. Many funeral homes rely heavily on good faith that the person they have is the person to be cremated. They may be lazy, it may be a logistical issue, or perhaps they don’t believe they could be wrong. Whatever the reason, SimpleCremationOnline.com does not tolerate such a system and, in fact, has trademarked an identification process to give you 100% confidence in the remains you receive.

We require you to identify your loved one before cremation, rather than just giving you the chance to do so. This is a non-negotiable policy of ours. We refuse to do a cremation unless the family has positively identified the remains. We believe that this peace of mind is worth it, and our families, as well as our reputable Cremation Service Providers, agree with us.

This is why we have created the Posi-ID Portal™ on our website. The Posi-ID Portal™ gives you and your family the ability to identify your loved one in the privacy and security of your own home. When your loved one enters the care of the Service Provider, they are photographed. We never send you the picture through email or a text message as we don’t feel this is a secure process. The picture is instead uploaded to the Portal and you are sent the information to log in. This allows you to access the Portal, view the photograph, and then identify the body all in one secure place at one time. Overall it takes only five minutes to do, and this highly secure, private process is provided at no extra cost. Once you identify the body, the picture is deleted and the account information becomes invalid. We believe that this method provides the most safety and security, and the families we have worked with have found this unique service to be of great value and comfort to them.

We’d love to know what you think. Do you agree that family identification should be the standard? Have you ever had or read about a negative experience with a cremation or funeral that could have been avoided?

4 Benefits of Planning a Cremation in Advance

1. Knowledge is Power.

The importance of doing your homework when it comes to planning funeral or cremation arrangements cannot be understated. As a savvy consumer, you would likely never purchase a new appliance, take a vacation to a foreign country, or send your child to a university without doing thorough research about it beforehand. Taking the time to compare the options and prices will help you make a more informed decision. You have the chance to ask more questions and as a result you’ll be more confident in your choices.



2. Know What to Expect.

The death of a loved one is a scary thought. Not surprisingly, many people avoid thinking about this inevitability until they have no choice. Part of what makes the idea of funeral or cremation arrangements so scary is the fact that most people really don’t know what to expect. They may have never planned a cremation before and find themselves having to make important decisions during times of intense emotional stress. Planning in advance relieves much of this anxiety. Something as simple as a phone conversation with your Funeral Director can restore your confidence and allow you to focus on caring for your family.


3. Your Kids Will Thank You … Later.

Most of us have seen or heard about a situation like this before: Someone passes away, and their children or other relatives are forced to make difficult decisions on the spot. There’s panic, confusion, and often a good deal of conflict (“Who should we be calling right now?” or “How are we going to pay for this?”) Planning a cremation in advance, and even paying for it in advance, is really the only way to dodge this bullet. As difficult as it may be, try to involve other family members in an honest conversation during the planning process. Make them aware of your choices and give them the tools they will need to follow through with your wishes. It’s a gift that they probably won’t want, but they’ll thank you for it later.


4. Get Back in the Driver’s Seat.

Planning your own cremation arrangements in advance is really the best way to ensure that your wishes will be honored when the time comes. We’ve made it easy for you to complete your selections down to the smallest detail, all from the privacy of your own home. While of course we advocate involving family members in this process (or at the very least just informing them of your decisions), we also believe in the value of maintaining control over your cremation arrangements, without the “hard sell” of many traditional funeral homes. SimpleCremationOnline.com's cremation arrangement tools keep you in the driver's seat.