What Can I Do Instead of a Funeral?

June 25, 2020 10:53 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Not everyone wants to hold a traditional funeral and burial when their loved one passes, and in some cases, the deceased may have requested a specific disposition of their body, or that there be no funeral held. Still, most people want to have some way to commemorate their loved one’s life, death and memory. For this reason, alternative funeral options are on the rise in Chicago, IL.

If traditional funerals aren’t something you want, whether because you don’t care for the ceremony or are looking for a less expensive option, there are plenty of choices. Here are some of the ways people are handling a loved one’s death:

  • Cremation: The most popular funeral alternative in Chicago, IL is cremation. This eliminates the cost of a casket, burial plot and cemetery fees, making it significantly less expensive than traditional funerals. The body can be cremated after viewing, or taken directly to the crematorium. This allows family members to hold a memorial on their own time schedule, rather than scrambling to get it done immediately following the death.
  • Home funerals: Our modern tradition of having a funeral home prepare and house the body is actually a relatively new social construct. Many cultures take pride in preparing the body for burial at home, keeping vigil—it helps them process the death. Check with your local and state laws to see if you’ll need permits or other concessions before proceeding in this way.
  • “Green” burials: Green burials are an environmentally-conscious and budget-friendly way to lay a body to rest. Research green burial sites in your area to check out their requirements and what you can expect; most involve an environmentally-friendly shroud or casket in a specific green burial site.
  • Aquamation: Aquamation uses alkaline hydrolysis to dissolve the body; it’s championed as a greener solution to cremation. This process is not legal in all states, but it is used by medical facilities like the Mayo Clinic to dispose of bodies donated for scientific research.
  • Funeral pyre: Currently, only Colorado allows bodies to be disposed of by placing them on top of a funeral pyre, but this is a dramatic—and in some cultures, traditional—way of disposing of a body.
  • Burial at sea: Many people choose to scatter ashes at sea as a way to let the earth reclaim their loved one—but you may be able to have a full-body burial at sea. Depending on your state regulations, as well as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s guidelines, you may be able to accomplish a burial at sea for significantly less money than you might spend on a traditional funeral.

There’s no denying that funerals can be expensive, and if the deceased didn’t provide insurance or savings to cover the costs, you may scramble to put together a meaningful memorial while disposing of their remains. These alternative funeral options in Chicago, IL can help you commemorate their life without going into debt to do so.

For your traditional and alternative funeral needs, contact Marik-Baken Funeral Services Ltd. today.

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