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Cremation: does our fear of fire stop us from being cremated when we're dead?

May 1, 2018, 2:37 p.m.

Why are some of us so against cremation? We delve into the deeper meaning behind people's choices between burials and cremation.

It's human nature to constantly fight and avoid anything that may cause us pain or suffering. If we saw a flame on a hob, we wouldn’t touch it. Fire equals pain. We are designed to stay alive for as long as possible and the possibility of harm could cause our death.

We wanted to understand what happened to these instinctual fears when it comes to the topic of 'after death'; do we just diminish all feelings towards something that has scared us our whole lives and open the idea of cremation?

When we think about how we would want our (or a loved one’s) body to be disposed of, the idea of burning it may make us feel slightly uncomfortable. This isn’t even just because of a general fear of fire. It’s because the process of cremation disposes of the person entirely, and people don’t know if they'd be ready for such an abrupt goodbye so soon after losing someone.

Although people are aware that their loved one is no longer living, it would give them some kind of comfort to know that they are still there physically. Burial gives you the ability to visit their physical body wherever they are buried to pay respects and have a chat. We talk, they listen (of course).

If you consider the body to become an empty vessel after death, which many people do, the idea of cremation can be appealing. For one thing, it is far cheaper than burial. And for those who cringe at the idea of themselves or their loved one decaying in the ground and losing their physical appearance that they knew and loved, it provides the comfort of keeping this image.

Once you get past the initial procedure of lots of fire, what to do with the ashes of you or your loved one gives you a chance to be creative; it enables an individual and unique send-off that isn’t as easy with an underground burial. The most commonly known and used choice is to scatter the ashes somewhere that means something to the family or person, but there are also many more imaginative options!

Add Ashes into Fireworks to your plan!.

These include turning the ashes into a diamond, planting them as a tree, or even compressing them into a capsule and launching them into space - plus many more unusual processes. We don’t know about you, but being turned into a mini spaceship after you die to explore the universe sounds pretty cool!

It is interesting to think about society’s opposing views on cremation, which mainly stems from differing religious beliefs and traditions. Christianity, Judaism and Islam all follow traditions that frown upon cremation, if not outright prohibit it. Traditionally, their culture believes that the body is an integral part of the human soul that should still be honoured and respected even after death, and the idea of turning it into ashes might interfere with God’s ability to resurrect the body and bring it up to heaven.

hindu art bowl

However, Hindu culture mandates cremation; they believe that burning the body induces a feeling of detachment into the freshly disembodied spirit, which will help to encourage its passing on to its next destination.

Considering all of these things, even though you may still believe burial wins the battle against cremation, it's always good to learn about and understand cremation in case a friend or family member adds it as part of their funeral wishes.

Whether you want to be buried or cremated, make sure your wishes are carried out with a personalised funeral plan.

Create your funeral plan today with huunuu!

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