The way people grieve can vary greatly from one culture to another as well as on an individual level. Ideas that were once frowned upon can become widely accepted over time and vice versa. Preparing for a funeral service can quickly become overwhelming, especially if the death was unexpected. In addition to the often-indescribable emotional turmoil accompanying the death of a loved one, traditional funerals themselves are typically a hefty financial burden that not everyone can take on. In lieu of the traditional embalmed body in a casket, more and more people are choosing options that are more personal, less expensive, and better for the environment.
The personalized funeral
Instead of a traditional religious service, more people are seeing the value of personalization in the grieving process. This can, of course include the deceased’s religion, but it also celebrates the person’s life and passions to ensure they’re remembered for what mattered. Most people have probably attended a funeral that included photos of the deceased and their loved ones as well as some sort of personalized video honoring them. The personalized funeral can also be a great way for any willing loved ones to honor the deceased in their chosen ways and show how they were important.
Another way to personalize a funeral that is growing in popularity is the at-home funeral. There are many possible reasons for this, with one of the most likely being that this type of funeral empowers families to face their loss and care for their loved one on their own terms. It also brings us back to the days when home funerals were the norm, something older family members may remember.
Some families might prefer a themed funeral, where the entire service is centered on something that the deceased was passionate about.
Once frowned upon by many religions as a body-disposal technique, cremation has become much more accepted in recent years. In fact, it has recently proven more popular than traditional burial in the US. Primary reasons for this are the significantly lower cost compared to a traditional burial as well as saving resources such as land and coffin materials. Cremation typically means the breakdown of a body through flames and then spreading the ashes at a desired location, but there are some alternatives to this.
Another option is cremation through hydrolysis as offered by VIP Aquamation. This is essentially a process where the body is broken down through a combination of water, lye, and high temperature. This produces no greenhouse emissions, making it an even more eco-friendly choice compared to flame cremation.
There is also a rising trend in cremation creativity. This is essentially the idea of doing something creative with a loved one’s ashes to honor them. Options range from putting the ashes in jewelry, to making ammunition for a gun salute, to even putting ashes into ink for an honorific tattoo. Depending on the loved one’s tastes, something like this might be just the way to send them off.
With concern for the environment ever-growing, it’s not hard to see how the green funeral is becoming more popular. Green funerals prioritize natural burials. This means bodies are not embalmed, and they are clothed in fully biodegradable materials. Caskets are also made solely of recycled wood fibers and other biodegradable materials. Gatherings for this type of funeral are typically small and in a natural setting. Only locally grown flowers are involved, and all foods are organic, and any paper products are recycled. Generally this type of funeral will use large rocks, trees, or other natural alternatives to headstones.
The way people grieve and handle services will continue to evolve, but these were a few of the biggest changes in recent years.