In recent years, the average cost of a standard funeral ranged anywhere from seven to nine thousand dollars. For many, the process of planning a funeral, burial, and repast for their loved ones can far exceed that estimate and cause immense stress in an already difficult time. The best parting gift anyone can give to their loved ones is to far in advance prepare their own arrangements. In order to be the most cost effective, strategic, and organized, planning for cremation services in advance is often preferred. The following are a few reasons why you should consider planning your own cremation memorial.
The obvious reasoning for cremation over a traditional service is the ability to avoid the ever-growing costs of funerals. Planning a funeral includes, but is not limited to, service fees, remains transportation, embalming, casket cost, and viewing and burial fees. On top of these standard fees are the cost of cemetery plot, flowers, mausoleum fees, gravestone or marker fees, and potential travel for family and friends.
While certain services for cremated remains can reach upwards of eight thousand dollars, a basic service can cost less than one thousand. One way to cut costs is to hold an open-casket viewing before cremation, for example, is to just rent the casket as opposed to purchasing it. For those looking to save the most, direct cremation is often the answer. In these instances, remains leave the crematorium and given to loved ones to honor in their own form. A special urn or other encasement can be purchased separately, the ashes can be placed inside, and a home memorial can be planned in a modest manner.
When services and itinerary arrangements are set in advance, it removes the stress from grieving loved ones. The emotional turmoil after a loss can often account for overspending when planning funerals, choosing details such as caskets and urns, or working with your funeral home’s director.
Working with your proposed executor in advance to hammer out every detail of your services alleviates any pressure, stress, and burden from the person you choose. While these arrangements don’t necessarily have to be extensive, even a general outline of execution or sense of direction can be a tremendous aid.
Setting aside a plan for post-cremation can ensure that your memorial is uniquely tailored to your individual personality. You can set aside a list of your favorite music, photos, and stories for loved ones to tell at a viewing or home memorial service. You can even choose your final resting place, be it an urn placed on a mantel, a piece of jewelry left behind for your beloved, or a mausoleum in your hometown. Whatever your individual preference may be, having it written out clearly and concisely ensures they’ll be carried out.
For the environmentally-conscious, cremation plants are a favorable option to give back to the ecosystem. In these ceremonies, cremains are placed at the base of a biodegradable urn covered in soil. Once planted, the cremains and soil intertwine to bloom into a tree, shrubbery, or any given plant chosen by the departed.
For those who love the ocean, scattering ashes at sea is another option to be at one with nature after death. So long as EPA guidelines are followed, and the marine life is respected, these ceremonies are a unique option as well. These options are a beautiful portrayal of new life being created after death.
Whatever your reasoning may be, planning your own cremation memorial in advance is a quality decision that can ensure your final departure is both unique and respectful.