Technology has an increasingly large impact on our lives – and our deaths – than ever before. Some of the newest trends offer creative options to traditional funeral and memorial services that allow us to uniquely honor and celebrate a life well lived.
Today family and friends can send notifications about a loved one’s death and even attend a funeral service online. They can access electronic guest books to learn about funeral services and express digital condolences from anywhere in the world. Memorial websites enable family and friends to post pictures, videos, and share personal stories about their deceased loved one.
Environmentally Friendly Trends
There are environmentally friendly options to the traditional in-ground burial process. For example, a “natural burial”, is where a loved one’s body is wrapped in a shroud or placed in a biodegradable casket so that they can decompose naturally.
Another option from a company called, “Eternal Reefs”, transforms a deceased loved one’s remains into a concrete structure that is placed under the sea to help restore damaged coral reefs.
An option called, “Resomation” is an environmentally beneficial alternative to cremation that uses water and an alkali based method to chemically break down the body rather than fire, which is used in cremation.
There are also options to launch a loved one’s ashes into space.
Eternal Preservation Trends
There are new trends that allow a loved one’s remains to be conserved for eternity.
Increasingly requested today is Cryonics, where a loved one’s body is frozen to be reanimated later when technology discovers a way to do so. Several hundred people have chosen Cryonics storage in the US.
More than 1500 people in the US have chosen modern mummification as an option to traditional funeral and burial rites.
Another nontraditional preservation method is called, “plastination”, which is the process of preserving human bodies to reveal inner anatomical structures. Medical schools and anatomy labs use plastination to preserve organ specimens for education.
You can transform a loved one’s remains into a family heirloom. A company called, LifeGems, compacts the carbon-based remains so tightly they transform into high-quality diamonds that serve as a permanent unique memorial.
A company called, CataCombo, offers a casket with built in speakers and a highly technical sound system, including programmable playlists that can serenade a deceased loved one.
A company called, Living Headstones, loads a detailed memorial of the deceased onto a computer chip, sets it into a headstone, which can be accessed from anywhere with a smart phone.
Whether you choose to become part of a reef that nurtures ocean life, or to shine throughout eternity as a diamond or a shooting star, these 2014 funeral trends offer creative alternatives to traditional funeral and burial services.