Traditional funerals and wakes have been a staple in American culture for centuries. While they may be viewed as ‘respectful’ and ‘dignified’, the reality is that these services are often very expensive, time-consuming, and emotionally draining for those who must organize them (both the deceased’s family as well as their guests).
Therefore, with the rising costs of traditional funerals, many people are now opting for alternatives. They range from low-key, private services to more eclectic and theatrical gatherings reminiscent of celebrations of life.
The Following Are Alternatives To A Traditional Funeral
Many people are choosing cremation over traditional funerals for a number of reasons. First, it is much less expensive than a burial. Second, families can have the service whenever and wherever they choose (whether in their homes, in a park or garden setting, or at another location that holds special meaning to them). Third, there is no need for a headstone or grave marker because the ashes of the deceased are scattered, buried, or placed in an urn and given to family members.
II. A ‘Green’ Funeral
More and more families are opting for natural or green burials. They require no embalming fluids, so there is no need to preserve the body in any way (prior to cremation or burial). Also, they do not call for metal caskets which results in less of an environmental impact than traditional caskets.
III. A Personalized Event
Some families are choosing to have a memorial service that is more personalized in nature, with activities that the deceased loved during their lifetime. This could include dancing, listening to favorite songs, gardening, doing art projects, or simply spending quality time together in honor of the person who has passed away.
IV. A Living Memorial
It is becoming increasingly popular for families to build memorials in honor of their loved one who has passed away. These can be anything from building benches at a local park or garden, planting trees, to putting up plaques with the names of family members who have died (and why) along bike paths and trails .
V. Private Services
Much like funerals, there are some families who prefer to keep the service very private and intimate. This might be due to religious beliefs or other factors. Whatever the reason, it is perfectly acceptable for someone to choose this option regardless of whether their loved one died recently or several years ago.
When someone dies, family and friends often want to do something for the deceased and/or their loved ones. They may not be aware of any alternatives to a traditional funeral so they simply plan one without truly considering their options. However, after learning about all of the possible alternatives outlined in this article, it is very likely that you feel more motivated to do something special in honor of your loved one.