Different Types of Cremation Options
If you’ve opted for cremation over a traditional burial following your death, you’re not alone. The Cremation Association of North America predicts the cremation rate in Canada will reach nearly 75 per cent by 2020.
Whether it’s a matter of cost, overall simplicity (with cremation, you negate the need to plan an elaborate funeral with pallbearers, a casket, etc.), environmental concerns (cremation is considered more earth-friendly than a traditional burial) or a deep-rooted claustrophobia, cremation offers those who don’t want to be buried another option following their death.
While many families choose to hold a memorial following cremation, traditional visitations are possible. These services allow the family and friends of the deceased to cope with their grief alongside others who are sharing the same feelings and to begin the process of healing.
Contrary to popular belief, here in Ontario, cremated remains can be scattered over crown-owned water or land, including provincial parks, conservation areas, or within lakes. A permit is not required.
If you wish to scatter the remains on private property, however, you must obtain consent from the landowner beforehand. Those who wish to scatter remains on municipality-owned land may also need to obtain special permission; check local laws beforehand.
Most often, those grieving opt to scatter the remains of their loved ones at a place they hold dear; a favourite park, for example.
Internment: Other options include burying the cremated remains in a registered cemetery, or placing the remains in a niche within a columbarium. (For those who don’t know, a columbarium is an above-ground structure that contains a number of niches. Placing the cremated remains in a niche is an interment.)
Another option is to sign a contract with the licensed operator of a cemetery, crematorium, funeral home or transfer service to scatter the cremated remains on your behalf.
Home is Where the Heart Is: Some people choose to store the urn containing the remains within their home; there is a wide variety of urns, boxes and keepsakes available to choose from.
Go Green: A living memorial is a wonderful way to celebrate the life of a loved one. Some even believe doing this completes the life cycle: by returning their loved ones to nature, they are living on in a new form. Great comfort can be found in this. Some people are opting to mix a small amount of the remains with compost in a pot and plant something. Another option is to plant a tree using a biodegradable urn.
A Work of Art: Cremated remains can also be kept in a sculpture (this can be placed indoors, or outside in a garden that allows you to memorialize your loved one), or even added to jewelry or a work of art.
Ultimately, what you choose to do with the remains of a loved one is an entirely personal thing. Unless the deceased has stipulated in his or her will how they wish their remains to be disposed of, it’s up to you to consider how you will garner the most comfort, and how you feel it’s best to preserve the memory of your loved one.