Friday, November 14, 2008

I Have No Idea What To Do With My (C)remains

When people lived in one area, and had so for a few generations, there wasn't much thought on what to do with yourself after you died. You were simply buried next to grandpa, grandma and other relatives in the family plot, hopefully having a spot next to you for your spouse. These days there are several trends are blowing this assumption out of the water.

The first is that fewer people in the U.S. are choosing to be buried, preferring instead cremation. Estimates by the National Funeral Directors Association have cremation growing from about 30% to over 50% by 2020 (and it's what I plan)

Second, the concept of the modern family sort of mixes things up. Step-grandparents, half sisters, "significant others" instead of spouses, and the other associated 21st century relationships make the "family all buried in one place" concept sort of quaint.

Last, there is the whole mass migration thing. It used to be you lived your entire life within a 50 mile radius, but these days you're born one place, grow up in another, work in another, then retire somewhere else, maybe even a different country. So most people no longer have a place that they feel they just have to be planted when they're gone.

So while I know I want to be cremated, I don't have any particular place where I want my ashes to be scattered. I mean, it's not like I will be around to care anyway.

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