|CNN ran an interesting
story today from Asia about the design project for a floating cemetery.
The title of “A
cruise for cremains” caught my eye as I envisaged that the Carnival
Cruise Ship Line was introducing a service offering ash scattering cruises
from the U.S. to the Caribbean. I recently read of a baby boomer
expressing just such an interest. How a simple cremation and then
a family vacation to scatter the ashes would be his preferred choice of
Anyway, the story from CNN
related to the shortage of space in Hong Kong, and the rise in the death
rate in China, which has prompted a project named “Floating Eternity”.
The project proposes a cruise
ship structure that would house a rotating wall of 370,000 niches in which
people could inter the cremated remains of departed family. The floating
mausoleum would be docked along Hong Kong’s coastline to enable family
to visit their deceased relatives.
from people wanting to find
out what state laws govern the activity of ash scattering. This certainly
seems to indicate that many Americans are considering scattering remains
as opposed to interring them.
How are we responding to the
changing trend in cremation?
This rather fantastical innovation
led me to reflect on how the death care industry is responding to the rise
in the cremation rate. It is unlikely that the United States continent
will ever run out of land space for the interment of remains, however,
many major metropolitan areas are now running short of cemetery space.
At US Funerals Online, we
are receiving more inquiries
Many are choosing cremation
as a less expensive disposition method. An average cremation can
be performed for under $1,500, as opposed to the average burial costing
around $7,755 (NFDA 2012). Yet the cost for interring cremated remains
can sometimes work out almost as expensive as a burial. Some cemeteries
offer relatively inexpensive niches at around $500, but you can also pay
thousands of dollars for a columbarium interment.
‘Cottage’ industries emerging
to offer ash scattering services.
There are no ‘cremains police’,
and cremated remains are basically sterile, organic matter, so there is
no reason why they should be considered harmful to the environment.
To scatter remains over land, sea or into the atmosphere is considered
by many a naturalistic and spiritual return of the body to the earth.
For those that do not want
to perform an ash scattering personally, or who want something more unusual
or special for an ash scattering ceremony, there are now a number of cottage
ash scattering industries emerging.
Whether you want to scatter
your loved ones remains into the stratosphere, over the rocky mountains,
or into the depths of the ocean – the choice is now becoming limitless!
Innovation in Cremation
As we culturally shift towards
cremation, more innovative and sometimes wacky, notions of what we can
do with cremated remains are springing up. You can already have a
diamond, bullets or a tattoo made with cremated remains! The nearest
we have come to a maritime mortuary is the Memorial Reef off the coast
of Florida, where cremated remains can be infused into the creation of
organic reef structures.
I do not think we are likely
to see a floating cemetery in the United States anytime in the near future.
However, I do think we are likely to see further niche options emerge in
the ash scattering industry.
||Expert Author: Sara
Sara is the Editor in Chief
for US Funerals Online and has been researching and writing about the death
care industry in the US for the last 5 years.
Smoke’ – Final resting place on the Shooting Range