To be buried is to be returned to and to become one with the earth. It's a ritual that has been a part of humanity for more than 100,000 years. Placing a loved one's remains in the ground not only has practical aspects but also creates a final resting place where those who loved the deceased can visit and reflect. The ritual of burial is not the only option, and many people choose to be cremated. These remains can be encased in an urn and held onto by friends or family. They can also be scattered so that the deceased may become one with the earth again. When the time comes to make plans for the funeral of a loved one, there are some cremation options that truly allow someone to be returned to the earth.
One with the Ocean
The actual cremation process remains the same, but the type of urn used offers a number of different possibilities as to what can then happen to the remains. With four out of every five Australians living in a coastal area, it could be said that many Australians are drawn to the ocean. This can be included in funeral plans. Though not quite a burial at sea, some funeral homes now offer a water-soluble urn that can be placed into the ocean. It quickly begins to dissolve so that your loved one's ashes become part of the ocean currents. A boat charter is necessary, and the spot can be given a GPS tag. While you might not visit the precise location again, it can be nice to input the coordinates into an online map and see your loved one's final resting place.
One with the Earth
This ocean-based farewell will not be appropriate for everyone since not everyone has a connection with the ocean to the point that they would want it to be their final resting place. Again, it's all about the urn. Funeral homes also offer a biodegradable urn for burial. But how does this work?
- The urn is buried at a specially designated site, and a tree is then planted directly above the urn.
- The urn then quickly begins to biodegrade with the remains inside the urn being deposited into the soil where they become nutrients for the tree. It essentially means that instead of a gravestone, the final resting place will have a tree.
While this option might make you want to simply bury the urn on your own property before adding a tree, you should be mindful about this. Burying human remains on private property might be prohibited in your area (check with your local council). If the property was ever to be sold, access to your loved one's final resting place would be lost.
Burial might seem like the traditional way to become one with the earth, but cremation also offers these innovative and respectful options.
Check with any of the funeral homes near you for more information.