Things You Should Know Before Choosing Cremation for a Loved One
Since the passing of a loved one and the nitty-gritty of the preparations behind it are not a common everyday topic, it’s perfectly normal to have some trouble with knowing where to begin.
On top of the emotional distress and grieving that you’re going through, you’ll have to deal with the way your loved one will be laid to rest. This can give you additional stress, but we’ve got you covered.
Before we dissect and analyse the factors you should consider when choosing an urn, it’s best to touch up on your knowledge of cremation. This is so that you have a solid background on the process before making your choice.
What is cremation?
The process of burning a dead body at very high temperatures until you’re only left with brittle bones is called cremation. After the process, you’re left with the ashes of the person, which are usually kept in an urn or scattered as part of the last ceremony.
Even though it’s a fairly non-traditional concept, the process of cremation has been around since prehistoric times. It has just seen a rise in the last couple of years, thanks to society becoming more accepting of other norms.
Cremation is becoming the more popular alternative to the traditional burial, with more than 3 quarters of people in the UK opting to be cremated. It offers a more environmentally-friendly and cost-efficient option to those who are considering other methods of passing.
However, there are major nuances between traditional burials and cremations that you should take into account.
One of the things you should ask yourself and the departed’s loved one is you’d like to hold a viewing before the wake. With cremations, there will be no visitations, viewings, or wakes to be arranged before the cremation process.
This means that you won’t need to have the body go through embalming, which can save you time and money. Direct cremation is unarguably one of the most economic and affordable option for the disposition of a body.
Families and friends can opt to have a wake or a memorial once the cremation process is finished, and you’re handed over the ashes which you can store in an urn for viewing.
Although, not everyone opts for a wake. Another alternative that cremation is well-known for is the scattering of the ashes, among other methods.
What are the things you can do with a loved ones ashes?
- Burial – As opposed to the conventional burying of a coffin, an urn takes up less space. This is why it’s becoming a preferred option among those who wants to save a bit of money since the rental or sale price of the burial lot will be remarkably less than for a coffin.
- Scattering of ashes – This is one of the most famous methods for ashes. If you’re someone who knows where your loved one’s favourite place is, this will be the best way to honour his or her memory. Scattering their ashes can serve as a memorial for the deceased, and you can invite their loved ones to say their own messages prior to the ceremony.
- Cremation jewellery – A common alternative to urns, cremation jewellery have become a popular way for loved ones to keep a deceased ashes. It comes in various forms such as necklaces, rings, bracelets that you can have on you all the time. The great thing about this is that you can customise it in a way that will remind you of your loved one.
- Displaying an urn at home – Keeping an urn at home is the most traditional way to store a loved one’s ashes. We recommend that you have a memorial before bringing the urn home, and saving a space to serve as a monument to the memory of the deceased. By doing this, your family member still has a place in your home, and it may help you cope with the loss.
These are just some of the most popular things to do with a loved one’s ashes. However, there are more non-traditional ways that have become innovated in the past years. Since not everyone is comfortable with ashes lying on a mantle at home, there have been new methods that popped up over the past few years.
Here are some of the following that you can consider in case it fits the personality of the one that passed away:
- Turning ashes into plants – If your loved one is particularly known for being green-thumbed, this may be the best way to honour his or her memory. Living urns have recently become a trend, in which your loved one’s ashes are mixed with soil and other nutrients that can be planted to grow a tree or plant of your choosing.
- Tattoos – For a more adventurous and permanent approach, you can actually have the departed’s ashes mixed in with tattoo! Definitely not for the squeamish, this memorial tattoo will serve as a reminder for someone who’s incredibly important to you. This also saves you the trouble of losing cremation accessories, just be sure to do enough research to check if you’ll have any health complications!
- Fireworks – Help your loved one go out with a bang. Literally. There are multiple providers that will pop up if you do a quick online search of cremation fireworks! This is definitely a great option for thrill-seekers and adventurous people who want to leave the world the way they lived. For an exciting twist on traditional, gloomy memorials, this is surely something you should consider as it will be memorable for everyone.
- Make music with the departed’s memory – If your loved one used to be an artist or someone who loved music, what better way than to immortalise them with the thing they love the most? There are businesses that offer to turn the deceased’s ashes into music for your ears in the form of playable vinyl records. Add a little extra touch by encasing it in a sleeve with your loved one’s photo!
While these are fun and creative ways to celebrate a person’s memory, we understand that not everyone is comfortable with these recommendations. The most important thing is that the way we send a loved one to the afterlife will be something he or she will see fit, and it’s best to not do anything they may not like.
This is why there is still much to be said about opting for the traditional urn! By choosing an urn, you’ll be able to enjoy the conventional wakes while also reaping the benefits of a more economically-wise cremation.
If you’ve only begun your search for an urn now, you may get overwhelmed with all the choices.
From simple, round urns to intricate wooden boxes, there is an urn style fit for everyone. The sheer number of available designs provides you with the luxury of choosing the one which will best fit the departed’s personality.
If you’re starting to get confused with all the options available, don’t worry. We’ve made a list of all the things you need to know before picking out an urn that will house your loved one!
To get you started, here are the list of all the urn types and materials:
- Ceramic Urns
Ceramic urns are best for those who want a more colourful and artistic option. These are made through intricate processes such as colouring, glazing, glass blowing, and even firing.
Ceramic urns are perfect for a timeless, elegant look that looks simple yet sophisticated. The designs on these urns carefully curated, and you’ll surely be able to find one that resonates with the family’s needs.
Since ceramic urns are made of more delicate, fragile material, these are best for families who want to keep the urn in their home or in a sealed cemetery columbarium.
- Metal Urns
For a sturdier, more durable option, metal urns may be the one for you. These can function for both burials and home displays.
Metal urns are typically made of bronze, steel, pewter, brass, or copper. These give off a very masculine and strong look that will easily look great on your mantel at home.
If you’re not looking to display this urn at home, this will also be perfect for burials as the material makes sure that it’s durable enough to transport, as well as withstand the test of time and nature.
- Wooden Urns
Wooden urns are for a more classic feel, and are made from any variation of wood. You can even further personalise this by picking out your own kind of wood, and making inscriptions. You can inscribe it with your loved one’s name, birthday, or favourite quote to make it more personal.
Some popular kinds of wood used for these urns are oak, walnut, pine, maple, cherry, and more. If the deceased is someone who like classic things, or is someone that loves nature, this may be the best option for them.
- Environmentally Friendly Urns
Since one of the best pros about cremation is that it doesn’t make as much of a dent on nature, it makes sense that environmentally friendly or biodegradable urns are frontrunners as urn options.
We mentioned that one of the non-traditional ways with ashes is by turning it into a tree, and biodegradable urns are perfect for that! You can pick out which plant or tree seed to mix with the remains, and plant it in your yard or somewhere special to the deceased.
Biodegradable urns are made with material that tend to decompose or break down over time with exposure to water or just the passage of time. This makes sure that you’re not just putting in more non-reusable junk into the earth!
If you’re not too keen on turning the ashes into a tree, you can still make a nature loving choice by going for environmentally friendly urns. These are the ones that were made with recycled material, and crafted into something beautiful.
- Keepsake Urns
If the family members and friends have decided to share the remains among them, keepsake urns are what they’ll need.
Keepsake urns, or sharing urns, are smaller versions of the original one. They are designed to hold only a portion of the remains of the deceased, and can come in a variety of styles and sizes.
With this kind of urn, you won’t be limited to just one design. You can pick out one that best reminds you of the person, or something that represents your fondest memory together. This will give you an emotional connection whenever you see the urn.
Keepsake urns will help preserve and honour the memory of the deceased among more people, without being too big where it becomes an overwhelming reminder of the loss.
This will also be beneficial for families who are scattered all over the world. They’ll be able to keep a special memory of the departed, and help them cope with the loss.
By giving you the freedom of choice and the benefit of saving more money, it’s no wonder why cremation is becoming the preferred option of passing in today’s society.
If you’ve decided on cremation, or are taking care of a loved one’s passing, it’s best to know all the angles of cremation. Since it is a fairly new practice in today’s global world, it may be unconventional and shocking to some older family members.
Carefully consider the pros and cons of all facets of cremation, and discuss it with the departed’s loved ones. Be sure to explain what happens thoroughly, and present the positive aspects of the process.
Cremation can be a way to ease burden for the people left behind. It can give you peace of mind, and help you cope better with your loss. With all the reasons we’ve stated, it’s easy to understand why it’s becoming a popular choice among families!