OpinionOPINION: Burials are on their death bed as non-traditional alternatives blossom

Traditional burial can be costly, which is why more than 60 per cent of Ontarians opted out and decided to go towards cremation instead.
ETC StaffOctober 3, 20181385 min

O’Neil Blair
BizTech Editor

Once again, Millennials are killing another industry, this time its death.

If you’ve lived long enough, you’ve probably had the misfortune of attending a funeral. But the traditional burial can be costly, which is why more than 60 per cent of Ontarians opted out and decided to go towards cremation instead.

In my opinion, we’re headed in the right direction.

First of all, cremation is far superior because of the financial savings. Of course, the ceremony prices vary according to a family’s needs, but it’s the little details that cause funerals to shoot up thousands of dollars in price.

For instance, caskets are simply more expensive. The cheapest casket from the Casket Depot is $899.99, while the cheapest urn is $38.99, plus $29.99 for a plaque. Cremating a body in Canada costs roughly a quarter of the price it would to embalm and prepare a body for burial, according to CanadianFunerals.com.

It’s my opinion those who are still burying their dead are doing it for primarily two reasons. One creates a place where they can mourn their loved ones.

The other reason is tied to family tradition.

With ashes, however, people have a variety of ways they can memorialize a loved one, more than just a tombstone and a plot of land.

For those still wanting to uphold tradition, the hourglass has always been a classic symbol for life and death. Companies such as In the Light Urns can turn a family member’s ashes into a working hourglass keepsake.

Perhaps the deceased wasn’t traditional in the slightest and they wanted their funeral to reflect their life.

The company Heavenly Stars Fireworks gives your loved one a chance to go out with a bang. They offer packing your family member’s ashes into fireworks of a variety of colours and offer light shows accompanied by music.

The list goes on, including options like becoming jewelry, used to make tattoo ink or even a reef for sea life.

My personal favorite, and what I want done after my passing, is the living urn. The living urn is the process of mixing ashes and plant nutrients such as loam into a biodegradable urn and then planting it along with a tree into the ground. The Living Urn Company said on their website that they provide a green option for funerals.

Going back to nature is the natural thing to do when a person dies.

Death is supposed to fuel life and the way I see it, if more people utilized this eco-friendly option we could have a lot more forests and less graveyards.

The issue I have with graveyards is that despite Canada being a large country, we still see graveyards in urban areas, spaces that can be used for parks or green spaces for the living instead being utilized for the dead.

We all pass one day, and, for me, it’s better to use death to promote new life.

ETC Staff