The rates for direct cremations are on the rise, and it doesn't seem like they'll be slowing down anytime soon. A huge part of this could be because traditional funerals are so expensive. Another possible factor is that people are becoming more concerned about the environmental impact of traditional funerals. Often, people will accompany a cremation with a minor service, such as a small group of loved ones spreading ashes in a place of importance.
While this is a perfectly fine avenue to take, plenty of people out there would prefer a larger ceremony. Here, we will discuss some alternative services you may want to consider. These services don't require a lot of money and are beautiful ways to remember loved ones who have passed on.
What are direct cremations?
Before you decide on how to honor your loved one, you need to answer the question; what is cremation? Cremation is a process that happens in a specialized furnace that reduces the body down to essential elements or ash. Direct cremation, also known as simple cremation, is the most basic version of this process. The body is cremated without any witnesses and then the remains are returned to loved ones, generally in a simple container. This cremation happens without any ceremony, though it is a common option because of the price. It should be noted that simple cremation isn't cheap (somewhere between $2,000-$5,000) but is certainly more affordable than a traditional burial. Often, people will take these ashes and either display them on a mantle or go with a small group of people to spread the ashes somewhere.
Maybe the idea of simple cremation is appealing because of the cost, but what if you wanted to do a little something more for your loved one? Below are some affordable alternatives to direct cremations.
1. Virtual Dinner Party
One of the reasons funerals can be so expensive are because of the travel costs. If the person you are memorializing had loved ones living in many different places, a virtual dinner party is a great way to get everyone together for a proper tribute. People will be able to share stories and reminisce without spending money on airfare or gas.
To make it really special, suggest that everyone prepare a special meal that reminds them of the one who has passed. This will bring a sense of togetherness that will bring comfort not only during the dinner but for years after.
2. In-Person Dinner Party
For those who live in the same area, a dinner party or a potluck is a great idea. One of the great things about this idea is that you can do it anywhere. Choose a place you, your family, and friends agree was special for the departed and host it there. Maybe you want to have it at your house, or the park down the street. While there, you can have a preset list of things to talk about to remember your lost loved one. The sharing of stories and memories will help to get everyone involved.
3. Release Ceremony
This is similar to the potluck in that you gather people at a specific place for a specific reason (it was the loved one's favorite park, etc.) With a release ceremony, you spend time allowing each person to talk about what that person meant to them and then release something in some meaningful way. This could be balloons or birds into the sky, planting a tree, or spreading ashes.
Release ceremonies often help people feel like they can let go of their loved ones and continue with their lives.
Crematory services offer an inexpensive alternative to traditional funerals. With any service you choose, transportation will be key. Here at Shields Funeral Vehicles, we offer safe and secure transportation. Contact us today to see our available options.