This article was written to assist people who are confronted with the task of organizing a loved one's funeral. If you have never performed or assisted in organizing a funeral, the following information will give you a general idea of what to expect.
If this is new to you, don’t feel alone; most of us fail to make arrangements even for our own death. People who die without either planning their funerals or making their final wishes known, leave their friends and loved ones with the responsibility of making many important decisions within a very short time frame, a task made all the more difficult by grief.
Like everything else in life there are choices, even when it comes to preparing for death. While some people prepay for their funerals, some family members will wait until the death actually takes place before contacting a funeral home and cemetery.
The good news is that pre-planning can relieve stress on your survivors and give you control over the ultimate cost of your funeral.
In 2008, there were more than 23,000 funeral homes across the nation and many have begun to offer an expanding range of funeral and grief services. The large funeral homes are now offering grief counseling, personalized caskets and digital tombstones. Digital tombstones are becoming quite popular with the high-tech baby boomers.
The funeral home industry has been quickly consolidating. Small funeral homes have been bought-up by larger ones, and large funeral homes have been purchased by large multinational corporations. Increasingly, the services of funeral homes and cemeteries have become integrated as the industry moves towards a one-stop, full service business.
Times are changing. Led by those who live in the western states, the trend has been away from traditional burial and instead towards cremation. In 2005, roughly 3,000,000 Americans chose cremation. That’s almost 40% of all reported deaths, up by as much as 20% since 2001.
Finally, there are a growing variety of options available today, ranging from earth burial to cremation to burial at sea. Cremated remains may be kept in an urn, which is then gets scattered on land or water, they may be sent to the ocean's depths in a weighted container, or even sent into space.
Some people, seeking to preserve and extend their own life, may choose to have their bodies cryogenically preserved in the hope of one day being brought back to life.
Today, depending on where you reside, the cost of an average funeral ranges from $5,000 to $15,000. Direct cremations will generally cost less than $2,500.
For more information on funerals, cemeteries, grief, loss, and pre-planning visit GotTrouble.com