At a recent family gathering the topic of death and disposition came up (yes, it is not uncommon in my family). However, it was interesting to hear some family members talk about their concerns with being buried and about “using up land.” Okay, I hadn’t really heard that one before but I suppose it makes some sense – although not necessarily in our country any time soon.
Give Me Some Space
Strangely enough, I also came across this article about overcrowding and concerns for burial space in some Asian countries. When cultures and personal preferences dictate that burial space must always be an option, perhaps we have to look at more creative spaces for disposition when real estate availability becomes an issue. Read more at http://www.cnn.com/2016/09/21/asia/future-of-funerals/
One such example is a high-tech columbarium. Here families and place their loved ones ashes within a Buddha statue lit by LED lights. The statues are easily identifiable and remain there for 30 years. After that, the remains are moved to a general location underground to make room for the next cremated remains. In a culture of tradition where burial space is passed on for generations, this helps the family with no heirs.
Up, Up, and Away!
Another option being developed is the idea of a floating cemetery. In a city such as Hong Kong where land availability for the living is outpacing burial or niche availability, a floating cemetery becomes a viable and respectful option. Such a floating resting place would be able to house ashes from over 370,000 people, allowing families to visit their deceased in a beautiful setting.
And if land here on our planet is not good enough, you could always launch your loved ones cremated remains into space.
“For $1,990 each, 100 families per rocket launch can send a 1-gram capsule of ashes into space. The satellite containing the capsules typically orbits the Earth for several months before blazing back into the atmosphere, like a shooting star.”
A Place to Heal
Predictions for the future vary widely regarding land availability not just for the living but for the disposition of loved ones as well. Regardless of whether the preference is burial or cremation, having a place to go to visit deceased loved ones is an important part of the grief and healing process (according to many of the great grief theorists). Perhaps some time in the future, people may also need to think of new and creative ways of disposing of our loved ones remains, creating a place to honor them and for future generations to visit.
You can learn more about funeral arrangements, disposition options and permanent memorialization by visiting our website.