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Cremation, how to explain to a child?

Posted by on Aug. 25, 2013 at 2:36 AM
  • 11 Replies

Never i countered this til now with my kids. 

We aren't religious,if that matters.

but we have a memorial service to go to next weekend and he was cremated. Just not sure how to explain that to daughter. She is 10.

i mean how do you explain that some people chose to be burned to ashes? And why? I don't even know the why for this person 

by on Aug. 25, 2013 at 2:36 AM
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Sassy762
by CAFE SASSY HBIC on Aug. 25, 2013 at 2:39 AM

Maybe this can help  you

Reasons for Choosing Cremation

Each year the Cremation Association of North America (CANA) compiles an annual report of the previous year’s cremation statistics and projections to the year 2010 and 2025. In its research CANA has found that historically Canada has a significantly higher cremation rate than the United States. For example, in 2004, 56.0 per cent of all Canadian deaths resulted in cremation, while in 2005, the cremation rate in the U.S. was only 32.3 per cent. This can be attributed to the influence of immigrants from Europe where the practice is widely accepted. 

In 2004, there was just over 215,000 deaths in Canada, of which approximately 120,000 were cremations. In comparison, the US, which has more than 10 times the number of deaths than Canada annually, had approximately 784,000 cremations in 2005.

Although the Newfoundland and Labrador rate is not close to the national average, there has been significant growth over the past 5 years. This is particularly evident in the large urban centres such as St. John’s, where the cremation rate has reached almost 45 percent of the approximately 1400 deaths that occur annually in this region.

Because of the dramatic increase in cremation throughout North America, particularly over the past 10 years, a number of studies have been conducted by industry associations, manufactures and other interested parties to gain a greater insight into the cremation market and a better understanding of cremation consumers. One of the primary areas of research has been to determine why consumers are choosing cremation. Following are some of the reasons commonly cited: 


To fulfill the wishes of a loved one 
Quite often individuals who wish to be cremated ensure their final wishes are well known, either by preplanning, including instructions in their Will or telling a spouse or child. Rarely is a loved one~s wishes revised or ignored. This is particularly true when direct cremation is chosen, as evidenced by the phrase ~at (name of deceased) request cremation has taken place~ which often appears in the funeral notice. 

Less expensive or less of a financial burden 
Because there are many different options from which to choose, the choice to cremate is often perceived to be less expensive. Because of this, some people will choose cremation to reduce the financial burden on family members. The premise that cremation is less expensive may not always be true, especially when cremation follows a traditional service with viewing and visitation. However, considerable savings can be realized with direct or immediate cremation followed by a memorial service and scattering. The latter alternative eliminates the need to purchase a casket, cemetery plot and other funeral and burial services. 

Environmental considerations 
In today’s society the environment is becoming much more important. As such, people are making choices or decisions with the environment in mind. For those who think this way, cremation becomes a viable alternative. It requires less land, it is cleaner and protects our forests, when a rental casket or direct cremation is chosen. Manufacturers are also developing new environmental products such as cremation caskets and containers built with composite materials and fewer metal parts, making the cremation more efficient while burning less fuel. 

Simpler, less emotional, more convenient
For some, cremation is perceived to be simpler, less emotional and more convenient. The elimination of the preparation and viewing of the deceased and placing an urn in a reposing room during visitation will certainly ease the emotions an open casket will evoke. An urn is much easier and more convenient to handle than a casket and can be stored for many months while awaiting final disposition. 

Preference for Scattering
Although scattering is an irreversible act, it provides for the disposition of the cremated remains in a non-traditional way. In choosing a scattering location, the deceased or family will usually select a place where the deceased spent a great deal of time or was a source of enjoyment or happy memories. A favorite fishing hole, a garden or walking trail or at sea are just some of the many places chosen. For some, scattering becomes a symbol of freedom, peace, adventure, contentment or simply a rite of passage. 

Fear of entombment or burial
Even in death people~s fears or phobias emerge. For some the thought of having their body buried or entombed is unbearable. Cremation then becomes a welcome alternative. 

Religious reasons 
There are countries in the world such as Japan and India whose people practice cremation as a religious custom. There are religions, which strictly forbid it. For Christians cremation is permitted and some churches have even designed liturgy to accommodate the practice during the funeral and committal services. 

Preference not to be viewed or on display 
While most people do not mind their remains being viewed or placed on display, others are adamantly opposed. Again cremation becomes a viable alternative with the urn placed in the reposing room during visitation and transferred to the church or chapel for the funeral services. 

More ~natural~ than burial 
During a committal service at graveside the clergy will say ~… and we commit the body to the ground, earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust~. It is a Christian~s belief that our earthly remains will go back to the earth from whence it came. Therefore, cremation is considered by some to be a more ~natural~ process as the deterioration of the remains is quickened by the intense heat of the retort. 

Projections 
The cremation rate in North America is increasing annually. CANA projects the Canadian cremation rate is expected to reach over 65 per cent by 2010. In the U.S. a rate of just over 39% is predicted by 2010, and if current rate increases continue, a rate of 57 per cent will be reached by 2025. 

CANA~s statisticians believe that once a country exceeds a 65 per cent cremation rate, it will conform to historical trends, which indicate there will be little if any increases in future years. Except for Japan and India, no country has cremated more than 80 per cent of its deceased citizens.

sugarcrisp
by Ruby Member on Aug. 25, 2013 at 2:39 AM

The way I explained it to my 7yo is this:

Some people choose to be buried, others choose to be cremated. Cremation is burning the person's dead body at such a high heat that everything turns to ashes. Sometimes their wishes are for family to do what they want with the ashes, sometimes it's something else. 

My son knows that I want to be cremated and I want my ashes thrown into the ocean. Why? Because my ocean is my favorite place out of every place I have ever been. I want my body to 'become one' with the sea and its life forms.

ROBIN-C
by on Aug. 25, 2013 at 2:41 AM

What the hell? Need to fix that mess of a post! Brb!

ROBIN-C
by on Aug. 25, 2013 at 2:56 AM


Quoting sugarcrisp:

The way I explained it to my 7yo is this:

Some people choose to be buried, others choose to be cremated. Cremation is burning the person's dead body at such a high heat that everything turns to ashes. Sometimes their wishes are for family to do what they want with the ashes, sometimes it's something else. 

My son knows that I want to be cremated and I want my ashes thrown into the ocean. Why? Because my ocean is my favorite place out of every place I have ever been. I want my body to 'become one' with the sea and its life forms.

Did it freakmhimmout to know a body is being burnt? Was the discussion when someone he knew had died?

jamamama00
by Platinum Member on Aug. 25, 2013 at 3:00 AM
My cousin's family owns a funeral home. My cousin hadlto write an essay on the first day of school once about what he did over the summer and he wrote that he helped his dad burn bodies. I think he was in second or third grade. Kids understand more than you think. Just tell them some people prefer to be turned into ashes for different reasons...
flaquitabss
by Silver Member on Aug. 25, 2013 at 3:03 AM

I think 4 is too young to tell him what the process of cremation is.  Since burning bodies may seem to him like the person died by fire.     I would simply tell him that cremation is another way of putting away a person's body, I would say they convert it to ashes, almost like sand, since they might not really understand what ashes are.  Now if he asks how they converted it to ashes, then I would have to elaborate...  but chances are he might not even ask.

ROBIN-C
by on Aug. 25, 2013 at 3:19 AM


Quoting flaquitabss:

I think 4 is too young to tell him what the process of cremation is.  Since burning bodies may seem to him like the person died by fire.     I would simply tell him that cremation is another way of putting away a person's body, I would say they convert it to ashes, almost like sand, since they might not really understand what ashes are.  Now if he asks how they converted it to ashes, then I would have to elaborate...  but chances are he might not even ask.

My daughter is 10, she will ask why the mans body isn't at the funeral, so I feel like I need to prepare her ahead of time..... Don't want to explain in the spot at the service 

flaquitabss
by Silver Member on Aug. 25, 2013 at 3:34 AM


oooh!!  pft!  i DIDNT pay enough attention to your post.  I thought your kid was 4!  10 should be able to understand what cremation is. = P Sorry!

Quoting ROBIN-C:


Quoting flaquitabss:

I think 4 is too young to tell him what the process of cremation is.  Since burning bodies may seem to him like the person died by fire.     I would simply tell him that cremation is another way of putting away a person's body, I would say they convert it to ashes, almost like sand, since they might not really understand what ashes are.  Now if he asks how they converted it to ashes, then I would have to elaborate...  but chances are he might not even ask.

My daughter is 10, she will ask why the mans body isn't at the funeral, so I feel like I need to prepare her ahead of time..... Don't want to explain in the spot at the service 



SageAdvice
by on Aug. 25, 2013 at 3:49 AM

 From dust we came, to dust we shall return. . .  Fire cleanses and after the ashes are spread, they help renew the earth which brings forth new life in different forms. ( flowers, seedlings, etc. that are fertilized by the ashes )

good example  - Some people choose to be buried, others choose to be cremated. Cremation is burning the person's dead body at such a high heat that everything turns to ashes. Sometimes their wishes are for family to do what they want with the ashes, sometimes it's something else. 

The how of it isn't so important, as simply telling her it's his wish for his remains, that he didn't wish to be buried under the ground but wanted his ashes/remains to join the wind and for some to settle with the plants and that he/she can always be felt when the wind blows ( like a gentle caressing hug ) and she can always see the beauty of his/her soul in the plants that bloom each spring.

Hope this helps.

ROBIN-C
by on Aug. 25, 2013 at 3:53 AM

Oh wow! Thanks! The man owned a nursery in the past and always had a beautiful garden, this is perfect! 

Quoting SageAdvice:

 From dust we came, to dust we shall return. . .  Fire cleanses and after the ashes are spread, they help renew the earth which brings forth new life in different forms. ( flowers, seedlings, etc. that are fertilized by the ashes )

good example  - Some people choose to be buried, others choose to be cremated. Cremation is burning the person's dead body at such a high heat that everything turns to ashes. Sometimes their wishes are for family to do what they want with the ashes, sometimes it's something else. 

The how of it isn't so important, as simply telling her it's his wish for his remains, that he didn't wish to be buried under the ground but wanted his ashes/remains to join the wind and for some to settle with the plants and that he/she can always be felt when the wind blows ( like a gentle caressing hug ) and she can see the beauty of his/her soul in the plants that bloom each spring.

Hope this helps.


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