According to Barbara Kemmis, executive director of the Cremation Association of North America and the National Funeral Directors Association, there has been “a seismic shift” in customs following death. Today, cremations account for 49% of dispositions vs. 45% for burials. The reasons are cost, acceptance by organized religions, their simplicity and greater flexibility. Cremations are relatively cheap in comparison with the thousands of dollars a burial can cost, with the requirements of a plot, tombstone and coffin. Americans may live and die far from home – where their family plot may be – so the simplicity of cremation is a solution. It is predicted that by the year 2030, cremation rates will top 70% nationwide, showing a complete reversal of death procedures in the last 30 years. To compensate for the downturn in the funeral home industry, many directors are selling personalized urns and places in cremation gardens. Since 2005, 10% of funeral homes have closed. Read more in Time, August 22, 2016.
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