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what to do with cremation ashes

Leading Cremation Memorial Trends for 2024

Cremation recently surpassed burial as the leading option of Americans and, according to the National Funeral Director’s Association (NFDA), cremation is expected to jump to 79% of the population by 2035. There are many reasons for this, including a lower cremation cost and families that are less traditional. Along with this significant uptick in those choosing cremation, a growing number of new and unique memorial options with cremated ashes are now available to create unique and more personal memorial experiences. Below, we’ve highlighted a few of the more popular cremation memorial trends for 2024. This includes a tree burial, water burial at sea, scattering ceremonies, and green burials.

Tree Burial with a Planting Ceremony

what to do with cremated ashes

A burial using a tree urn was just a concept for many ten years ago. Now using The Living Urn bio urn and planting system to plant a loved one’s ashes, it has become one of the more popular ways to memorialize a person (or pet) after they’ve passed. The Living Urn is designed to be used with as much or as little of one set of cremated ashes so many families will plant just a portion and keep some of the remains for other purposes. In addition, many families are holding tree planting ceremonies involving family and friends. This is a beautiful way to remember a loved one and, at some ceremonies, everybody present participates in the planting process. The Living Urn has received hundreds and hundreds of stories and testimonials of families holding tree planting ceremonies. The common feedback is how such an event was uplifting and a beautiful way to honor and reflect on their loved one who passed.

Hiring a Boat Service to Do a Water Burial at Sea

A few decades ago, the phrase ‘water burial’ or ‘sea burial’ was seldom heard by funeral directors. Most people were being buried in a cemetery in the traditional manner and the people who chose cremation typically ended up in a conventional urn in a family member’s home. Today, more and more people are requesting a water burial and funeral homes are now presenting more creative options to cater to this demand. Families are gathering at a special and meaningful location to place ashes in the water and some families will rent boats or hire boat services to take them out in the ocean to scatter their loved one's ashes.

Funeral homes and the families they serve are also using more creative urns designed for water burials. This includes Eco Water Urn, a new patent pending urn that floats like a buoy before breaking down to disperse a loved one’s ashes in the water in a beautiful and graceful way. This unique water cremation urn comes packaged in an attractive bamboo case – a great way to transport the biodegradable urn holding a loved one’s ashes on a boat to that special scattering site.

Ash Scattering Ceremonies

According to the Cremation Association of North America, approximately 39% of people who are cremated have their ashes scattered. That’s approximately 600,000 people each year in the United States. In line with this trend, many are now gathering family and friends at a place that was special and meaningful to their loved one who passed and hold a scattering ceremony. At these events, family and friends can reflect and share stories about the loved one who passed and even take turns in scattering their loved one’s ashes. Many people find scattering ash events to be an uplifting send off for their lost loved one and something that they will never forget. These events can sometimes include music and other entertainment, along with food and drinks. In addition, many families who hold such events choose to order an urn specifically designed for scattering. This includes Eco Scattering Urns, a new line of attractive bamboo urns that have quickly become the leading choice of funeral homes. With Eco Scattering, a family can scatter ashes with control and grace (which is very important) making it easy to scatter and for multiple people to participate.

Green Burial with a ‘Graveside’ Service

Many families are electing to have their loved one’s ashes buried and are holding ‘graveside’ services similar to the burial of a loved one’s body with a casket. This can be at a special location to the family, or on a plot in a cemetery near other family members or friends. In addition, a growing number of people choosing to bury ashes are also going green and using eco-friendly burial urns. This includes Eco Burial, a biodegradable burial urn that is eco-friendly and provides a dignified burial of a loved one. At $69, it’s an affordable option for most families.

Memorialized at a Cemetery

When most people think of cemeteries, they immediately think of burials and rows and rows of headstones sprinkled with a few sets of flowers placed on top. Now, with the rise in cremation, many cemeteries are catching on to the trends mentioned above and are offering new and unique memorials for people who are cremated. This includes planting a tree memorial with The Living Urn, being scattered at a special location in the cemetery (commonly referred to as a ‘scattering garden’), or being buried at a plot with a burial urn.

Multiple Memorials for a Loved One

Many families have different ideas about that ‘perfect’ memorial for a loved one. Also, some family members live in different parts of the country and each prefers their own memorial. For these reasons, splitting up cremated ashes among family members is a very common solution and having multiple memorials is a trend that is becoming more and more popular and practical. Some families will each plant a tree on their property – The Living Urn even offers a family tree program that discounts the price when families purchase more than one. Other families choose to each scatter some and place the rest in a decorative glass piece, cremation jewelry, or other small cremation keepsake – there are many options available. You can create memorials that your loved one would have wanted and let each member of the family remember your loved one in their own special and personal way.

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