Cremation and Other Trends in the Funeral Industry

By: Melissa Descant
Monday, June 3, 2019

There have been a lot of changes in the funeral industry in recent years. For decades the types of services that were provided remained consistent, but that’s no longer the case. Many families are opting for either more creative or more affordable options that are less traditional. Instead of simply doing what has always been done, some families choose to skip certain activities, such as religious services and lengthy visitations. Let’s take a look at some of the trends that are becoming increasingly popular in the funeral industry.

Cremation

Cremation services have become far more common than ever before. In fact, there was a time when it was an option that was rarely chosen, but now it’s the norm. More than half of the burials in the United States are people who were cremated, and this number is expected to grow significantly in the next decade. One of the reasons why some people choose to be cremated is because it’s a lot more affordable than a traditional burial. It’s estimated that being cremated costs less than half the price of getting buried. The reason why the cost is so much cheaper is because there isn’t the expense of a coffin or the land that’s required for a burial.

Home Funerals

There have also been a lot of changes in the rituals associated with funerals. For example, home funeral services are more common. Instead of a mortician handling certain aspects of the process, such as dressing the body, some families choose to handle that within their home. There are even some instances when the entire process is handled by the family, including the actual burial. There are companies that assist families with coordinating funerals that are conducted within the home. While a do-it-yourself funeral seems odd to a lot of people, in some parts of the world it’s not uncommon for family members to be buried on the family’s property. There are likely restrictions that must be considered depending on where you live.

Therapy Animals

Instead of a more formal environment, some funeral homes are allowing therapy animals to comfort mourners. It’s not uncommon for people to use therapy dogs in everyday life to provide them with support during difficult times. This is precisely why therapy animals, primarily dogs, are provided in funeral homes. According to the National Funeral Directors of America, therapy animals have been successful at comforting families and helping them grieve after the loss of a loved one.

Social Media

When it comes to how people mourn, that process has also changed because of social media. Instead of finding out about a death days after it happens, most people find out about it immediately on social media. Once that happens, it enables friends and family members to mourn openly, while immediately celebrating the life of the person that has died. Because of social media, there are often gatherings at non-traditional locations that are impromptu. Social media makes it easy to organize these types of events. Regardless of the type of service that’s organized for someone that has passed, you’ll likely hear about it on social media.

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