As a way to memorialize the remains of the deceased, cremation is nothing new. However, there are many cremation trends that are new, and increasing in popularity every day.

Melissa Ruth Licensed Funeral Director, Longview Funeral Home & Cemetery

This field continues to open up new ways for families to preserve and cherish the physical remnants of lost loved ones, in ways that are specific to their values and preferences. This article will outline just a few of them.

Among the biggest trends in cremation is the development of original keepsakes. Families commission original pieces of jewelry to be made—necklaces, pendants, and on down the list. Within these pieces of jewelry, small samples of the cremated remains are enshrined, allowing individuals to literally carry a piece of the deceased with them, in a tasteful and ornamental way.

Another trend is the “thumbee.” This involves the deceased’s thumbprint being taken, its imprint used in an original piece of décor or of jewelry. For example, some surviving family members choose to have a necklace made with the deceased’s thumbprint embedded in it.

There are several other ways in which cremated remains are enshrined and memorialized—in original glass art, in bullets and shotgun shells, and more. Though these options vary in popularity, all are increasingly accepted and easily available to interested parties.

A related trend is that of biodegradable urns. The cremated remains of a person can now be placed within an urn that is biodegradable, placed inside a bag that is itself biodegradable, and tied with non-plastic material. The entire piece can then be cast into the sea without any environmental worry: Each part of it is made to dissolve into the ocean, rather than pollute or contaminate it.

These trends serve to highlight the creative options available with cremation. For families with very specific ideas of how they wish to commemorate their loved ones, this is an increasingly rich area to explore.

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