More and more people are choosing cremation for themselves and their loved ones. Although cremation has grown rapidly in popularity in the last fifty years, most people still have questions about the process and what it means to choose cremation over burial.
Cremation can be traditional.
Cremation has been practiced in some cultures for thousands of years. For other crops, it was adopted relatively recently. Tradition is an essential part of how many people experience the death and loss of a loved one, so many wonder how cremation will affect the traditional service.
The only difference between a ceremony followed by cremation and a ceremony followed by burial is how the remains are treated before burial. In many traditional funeral practices, viewing the body is essential to recognizing and processing grief and loss. Choosing cremation does not mean that the body cannot be prepared for viewing before cremation. In the same way, before a cremation, any service can be performed, including service with the remains, just like before a funeral. Because the remains may be interred, a funeral service may also be held for the cremated remains.
Cremation can be personal.
Modern funeral customs tend to combine tradition and individuality. cremation funeral plans allow for more personalization than burial. Although there are restrictions on where human remains are buried, by law, remains can be scattered in different locations, allowing for a meaningful final resting place to be chosen. Graves can also remain with the family in an urn. Some even use their ashes creatively, such as making mourning decorations or planting a memorial tree.
Since many people live far from their home of origin or have family and friends scattered around the world, cremation also allows them to postpone funeral ceremonies so that friends and family can reunite. Memorial services or celebrations of life that do not require the presence of the remains often occur weeks or months after the deceased’s death. Similarly, ceremonies involving the scattering or burial of ashes may occur later, unlike ground burial, which must occur shortly after death. It gives the close family time to grieve privately and plan a personalized funeral.
There are many options for dissipating cremated remains, but people often have questions about how it should be done, causing them to hesitate. Scattering ash has never been illegal, but the government recently issued guidelines for spreading ash on land and water belonging to the province. These guidelines were put in place after public consultation to ensure people of diverse spiritual backgrounds can honor their loved ones in a culturally appropriate manner.
It is unnecessary to seek government approval, but care must be taken to ensure that ash is not dispersed near water intakes and water treatment facilities or areas where water recreation activities occur.