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How to Handle Family Objections to Cremation

Here are a few tips that can help you handle the discussions about choosing cremation when a family member doesn’t see eye-to-eye on the matter.
How to Handle Family Objections to Cremation

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You’ve made advanced arrangements and decided to be cremated rather than buried. It’s a personal decision everyone has to make for themselves, but some people are surprised to find how opinionated others can be about the choice. 

Even though the majority of Americans choose cremation today, it’s something that people can feel strongly about. Before you break the news to family members, think through what you want to say and prepare to explain your choice (even though that in no way means you’re compromising on cremation). 

Point Out the Religious Facts

The biggest pushback that some people get from family members is the religious restrictions associated with cremation. Cremation is not the norm in some religions, and others like Catholicism have only recently approved of the practice under strict circumstances.

If there’s a good chance religion will become part of the discussion, research the facts before making your plans known. That way you’ll be able to address the concerns of religious family members and might even be able to teach them a thing or two about last rite passages. 

Highlight the Ecological Benefit

Even if your primary reason for choosing cremation isn’t environmental, you’ll still get all of the ecological benefits of using cremation. This has been a contributing factor for the increase in cremations overall. Traditional cremation is less impactful compared to traditional burial, but clean flame cremation is even greener.

Alkaline hydrolysis, also known as water cremation, is the most ecological form of cremation. It uses 90% less energy than flame-based cremations, there are no harmful air pollutants and the family will receive about 20% more remains. 

Highlight the Financial Benefit 

Some people may not get the ecological or spiritual reasoning behind your choice, but they will understand the financial benefits of cremation. If you do everything else virtually the same, a traditional burial with funeral services is going to be about $2,500 more on average than a cremation with the same funeral services. 

Discuss the Memorial and Funeral Arrangements

Sometimes it’s easier for a family member to accept your choice to be cremated once they understand that doesn’t mean having to forgo funeral and memorial services. It can be helpful to discuss more of the details about what you’d like to have happen as a remembrance and how the remains should be kept afterwards. 

After your loved one knows that you have plans for how your remains will be handled and that they’ll have the chance to attend a funeral service there’s a good chance they’ll be more supportive. You may even want to consider asking their opinion on how to handle the services so that they feel more involved. 

Remind Family Members That Each Person Makes Their Own Choice

If nothing else, family members should understand that it’s your decision to make. You might have to politely remind them of that fact, but it’s usually enough to get the person to drop their argument. 

At the same time, we all have to be mindful and respectful of other people’s choices. There should never be any judgement or attempts to change someone’s mind about what they want for their own end-of-life services. 

At Green Cremation Texas we are completely respectful of your individual choices. We work one-on-one with every client to ensure they get something meaningful out of the experience. Give us a call, text or email anytime to arrange cremation services or learn more about our eco-friendly processes.

Picture of Marlaena Gonzales

Marlaena Gonzales

Funeral Director
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