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Today, Millions Turn to the Simplicity and Savings of Cremation

Aug 17, 2007
It's something no one wants to think about, but unfortunately, death is one of the most assured facts of life. There's no way to avoid its eventuality forever, but there are ways to plan for its occurrence and help those who will remain behind deal with the circumstance with dignity and grace. For many, the best way to help their families after they're gone is to ensure burial plans are in place. And, more and more, people are turning to cremation.

The choice between cremation and burial is a very personal one and some will flat out not desire this alternative. But those who do, cite the simplicity, cost savings, memorial possibilities and more as their reasons. In fact, nearly 30 percent of Americans are now choosing cremation over burials. There are more than 700,000 cremations performed in the U.S. a year with more than 1,700 crematories offering their services all over the country.

But, why choose cremation? There are a number of compelling reasons to go this route. They include:

* Less expense. While it's true there's nothing "cheap" in the funeral business, cremation is a lower-cost alternative. Since it doesn't require the purchase of a plot of land or an expensive coffin, those who pick this route often say they do it to save their families unnecessary expense.

* Environmental reasons. Since there is no coffin or burial involved, the use of land doesn't come into play with a cremation. The body is not placed in the earth along with items that might be detrimental to it.

* Personal choice. Many people prefer their families celebrate their lives and go back to their business as quickly as possible. Cremation can be a more low-key route to go without the need for large funeral processions and pomp and circumstance. The option, of course, is there if a family wants it though.

* Ability to release ashes. Many people are fond of the idea of having their ashes strewn at a favorite location. This is also a comforting act for the family to put their loved one's ashes in a favorite spot, allowing them to "rest" where they're comfortable for all eternity. Whether it's the person's own backyard or a mountainside in a distant location, the choice is present.

* Ceremony still possible. Although a casket and big burial ceremony won't be necessary if this is the route chosen, a memorial service and a follow up service at the time of the ashes being strewn (if that's the choice) are more than possible. The options with cremation are many and fall totally in the realm of personal preference.

It's not a topic many want to discuss, but it's one we'll all face. As assured as taxes, death cannot be avoided forever. More and more people are turning to cremation as the answer for their final resting place. Allowing a little more freedom of choice than burial, this method is also more affordable for many.

Respecting a person's last wishes is an important part of honoring a loved one. When cremation is the choice, those wishes can be very, very personal and detailed.
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