According to Slate.com, a half-century ago, almost everyone who passed away in the U.S. was buried. Only about 4 percent of the deaths that occurred in the U.S. were cremated. Today we cremate half our dead. Cremation rates have doubled in the past 15 years especially in the South and Midwest. Funeral customs have changed in the past, but never so drastically than in the last few years. Why are we seeing this change? Well, money is the biggest reason according to Barbara Kemmis, executive director of the Cremation Association of North America. Barbara stated, “The vast majority of people are looking at value”. The shift is shown in what they are calling direct cremation, an affordable cremation solution for those on a tight budget.

Smart Cremation has been in the forefront of change as we’ve been listening and learning from our families and the industry. Cremation rates have increase from 24.8% in 1999 to 46.7% in 2014. By 2019 these rates are projected to rise, two out of four Americans will choose cremation for their loved ones in the U.S. There are three major reasons that can be attributed to this shift, cost/value, decentralization of families, and a shift in religious traditions.

According to the Cremation Association of North America, it is not only more affordable, it offers a better value for memorialization. Smart Cremation breaches the barriers by offering personalized attention. The Smart Arrangers are able to come to you, where you are most comfortable in making decisions. Offering affordable cremation without losing value is Smart Cremations’ main objective.

The second reason for the shift is due to the decentralization of families. Today’s families rarely all stay in one place, making the traditional family plot a thing of the past. Because of this shift trying to prepare for and have a funeral or memorial service within a short time frame becomes difficult to almost impossible for everyone to attend. Smart Cremation’s families have the flexibility to hold memorial services weeks, months, even a year after so that friends and families can attend no matter where they live.

Memorialization options are numerous and can be as unique as the individual you are wanting to offer. Some families may choose to scatter a portion of their loved one’s ashes, but still have a permanent place to honor and remember. Smart Cremation provides many options for urns, keepsakes, jewelry and other mementos where a loved one’s ashes can be shared among loved ones and fans.

A third reason but not last is a shift in religious traditions. Religions that use to ban or frown upon cremations have changed views now allowing this because a growing shortage of traditional cemetery spaces. In addition, many Americans are choosing not to join organized religions so there isn’t as big a push for traditional funeral services.

To learn more about the cremation process visit, How Simple Is It?