An urn sitting on a dresser.

 

Written by Jenny Goldade

 

About 70% of cremated remains go home with families, per an article by Darrell Hill in the May 2019 issue of American Cemetery and Cremation magazine. This brings about the question, why do families keep a loved one’s cremated remains instead of burying them?

 

Let’s discuss some reasons why and how your funeral home can make sure your client families make educated funeral decisions.

 

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Reasons Why Families Keep Cremated Remains

Per the article by Hill, these are some reasons why a family may take the cremated remains home: grief, cost, and uncertainty of their options. When beginning their grief journey, they may want to keep their loved one’s ashes close to them. Or perhaps it was a matter of a lack of funds, so they would benefit from an alternative funeral payment option. Or maybe they simply didn’t know the options for final resting places for a loved one’s ashes.

 

Make Sure Families Know All Their Options

There are a lot of important topics to discuss during the arrangement conference. However, make sure choosing a final resting place isn’t left out and gets enough time. Families may not realize burying their loved one’s cremated remains is an option. Or, they may not realize the negative impact putting off the interment can have on their grieving process.

 

As their funeral director, it’s up to you to make sure all their options are clear to them. By burying the remains, it gives their entire family a place to go to honor and remember their loved one. If your funeral home offers alternative funeral payment options like crowdfunding and financing, make sure families know this. Discussing the final resting place options is a good segue into a conversation about payment options.

 

Another way to make your cremation burial services more well-known is to create a marketing campaign. Market your final resting place options to cremation families through a direct mail marketing campaign, social media marketing campaign, and other types of marketing campaigns. Also, list the cremation final resting place options on your funeral home’s website and even your Facebook Page.

 

Get Involved and Educate Your Community

Another way to educate families is through community involvement! Some suggestions include hosting community events about funeral planning and grief, such as a funeral planning workshop or an educational seminar about cremation. You can even partner with your local cemeteries to educate families about their final resting place options for cremated remains. By hosting events, not only do families now know their options, but they also get to know your staff and your funeral home’s mission.