Funeral Planning: 4 new trends how people are saying goodbye
As life changes, so does death, and the emotional stress it takes to plan a funeral more and more individuals and families are finding new ways to mourn the passing of a loved on.
Four new trends have evolved in funeral planning where consumers are breaking away from the traditional norms we’ve most thought were either traditional or just the way things are done when planning a funeral.
Modern Grieving: New Ways People Are Saying Goodbye to Their Loved Ones
While death and dying are an unchanging part of life, how people are choosing to say goodbye to their loved ones has changed radically in just the last few decades. No longer are the traditional wake and funeral standard procedure; more and more often, people are abandoning the emotionally draining stoicism of old-fashioned memorials for newer, more joyous events.
For example a celebration of life is growing in popularity at funerals, which can be held right after a death, weeks later, or months later. A celebration of life is a much more open affair where family and friends come together to talk and share the memories of the loved on. Unlike a traditional funeral service, a celebration of life is a more uplifting event that aims to celebrate the fond memories everyone has about the loved on, rather than a saddened and mournful event. If you’ve ever attended one of these events, you’ll find a mix of sadness, mourning, laughter and smiles…all in respect of remembering the friend or family who has now passed to a bigger and better place.
Cremation: Keeping the Departed Close
In the past few decades, cremation has become an increasingly popular option for a number of reasons, ranging from lack of a burial plot, to cost, to non religious interests, to a desire to keep the body or spirit in the home or to dispose of the body per the departed’s wishes.
Cremation offers portability of the deceased that has led to a variety of new approaches in how the dead are treated. One example is a growing trend of keeping part of the deceased with loved ones using cremation jewelry: jewelry designed to hold a small amount of the ashes or a the ashes compressed into a jewel such as a diamond or ruby.
Other cremation celebrations involve spreading the ashes of the deceased at sea or an underwater burial plot, spreading cremated ashes in the forest or mountain or close to home in the back yard.
For those wanting to go beyond a traditional cremation and saving ashes in an urn, you can have cremated ashes launched into outer space, including earth orbit, the moon and even deep space through niche celestial services.
Purchasing a Funeral Casket or Urn Online
The birth of the Internet has paved the way for the consumers buyer journey to dramatically pivot and disrupt numerous industries. Studies show that 60% to 90% of the consumers buying decisions are made before they reach out to a companies sales representative. The funeral industry is no different and the industry has had such a dramatic disruption that the top casket manufacturers have diversified their business to move into completely new industries due to a significant decline in sales.
The decline in funeral casket purchases direct from a funeral home has not only been driven from the power of the web in consumers hands, but also from recent consumer rights changes invoked by the Federal Trade Commissions “Funeral Rule”.
The Funeral Rule has disrupted the funeral industry by legally allowing consumers to purchase funeral products direct from 3rd parties other than a funeral home, such as caskets online.
Funeral homes and services legally must accept the consumer choice of purchase, and not apply any hidden fees or costs.
Historically the funeral industry was thought to be a monopolized industry where consumers only could purchase a casket or other funeral products from the funeral home only. Stiff markups were passed to the consumer, and legally consumers had little choice or selection.
Since the Funeral Rule has disrupted the industry and provided consumers far greater rights, more and more individuals and families have turned to 3rd party funeral retailers and online retailers where the consumer can save thousands via buying a casket online, or other funeral products direct with overnight delivery.
Although casket burial funerals are on a decline in some regions, more consumers are choosing to purchase a casket online direct for the convenience, greater selection and significant cost savings where thousands of dollars can be saved on a casket. Purchasing a casket online offers consumers the convenience and assurance the casket can be shipped overnight or 1 to 3 day delivery, direct to the funeral home.
After the FTC changed the rules concerning the purchase of such items, people found that buying online through specialized retailers or through a wholesaler such as Costco caskets represented a significant cost reduction over the use of a funeral home to obtain such items.
Having a Celebration of Life Funeral
More and more families and friends of the departed are opting out of the old fashioned wake and holding a life celebration instead. In fact, many funeral homes now offer such events, and in some cases do so exclusively. Taking the attitude that death is a part of life and that rather than simply grieving, family and friends should reminisce and take part in the joyous celebration of a life once lived, life celebrations offer a chance for the grieving to remember together the best of times that their loved one helped make for them. While such celebrations were initially very controversial, they have become increasingly popular.
Still another way that grieving loved ones are remembering the departed is through memorializing their loved ones online, including through remembrances and writing biographies for them.
In a sense, the Internet, being the ultimate repository of information, is now not only part of the catharsis involved in grieving but an opportunity to place before the world the historical relevance of a loved one for those that remember them: as biographical information continues to grow and develop online, it’s a way to ensure that future generations will have access to those recorded memories.