Cremation sometimes carries a negative connotation with it, due to the way that societies view the burn process involving human bodies. If we go back to the original definition of the word, "cremation," we find it literally means: "to reduce a body to ash; to burn down to an ashen state." Another definition is "to incinerate" or consume by fire.
While the word "cremation" has long carried a negative image in the minds of people, it remains one of the most common ways to handle the death of a loved one in several cultures.
Advantages to Cremation
A SENSE OF PRESENCE
An advantage is the ability to "keep the ashes" with you after the service. Unlike a traditional funeral where the body must obviously be disposed of by burial following the service, the cremation process allows the family to take the ashes home. Some people report that this gives them a sense that their loved one is somehow still around, even after they are deceased and the service is over. People often place the ashes in vessels called urns which holds the ashes of their loved ones for display or burial.
SCATTERING ASHES AS A MEMORIAL
Cremation also offers the family a chance to pay a special tribute at a location remote from the funeral site. Having the body cremated in a contained location, such as a vase, allows them to scatter their ashes on a favourite site, such as a lake, field, or other special location. This helps the family to feel their loved one has become a part of the universe again in an area they cherished, so that their spirit is a part of the whole environment. This can prove therapeutic for many families or loved ones, and offer a sense of wholeness at the idea that their loved one will always be with them.
IT'S YOUR DECISION
Whatever the case, it is important to keep in mind that today arrangements are as individual as the persons for whom and by whom they are made. A ceremony may be personalized to reflect the life of the deceased - and therefore have special meaning for those who are left behind.