Burial Alternatives are on the Rise

By: Jason Manuge
Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Funerals in Ghana have been a wild riot of colour and imagination since the 1950s. Ghanaians believe that death is the beginning of an afterlife filled with joy. Some Ghanaians give their dead a sendoff with a "proverb coffin" (abebuu adekai). Proverb coffins are elaborately carved sculptural masterpieces in wood that say something about the deceased. The ceremonies where proverb coffins appear can be raucous affairs filled with cheerfulness.











From beautiful boat or fish shaped coffins in bright colours for anglers, to six-foot camera shapes for photographers, Ghanaian proverb coffins are extreme versions of what we are witnessing here in North America. In recent years, it seems people are not content with the status quo and are looking for more and more personal ways to memorialize their loved ones.

Modern Families Opt for Non-Traditional Funerals

Diversity through our population means that many more families are choosing non-traditional services. The stereotype of the traditional funeral home is extinct. Today’s funeral homes should be places of light and (sometimes) celebration. Services have to follow changing client needs, and there are many burial alternatives available.

Ceremonies can include:

  • A celebratory tribute to the life of the deceased
  • Off the wall (or more personal) musical selections
  • Officiating by a loved one
  • A grand party
  • No ceremony at all

The final choice in the list may seem a little extreme, and you might want to still find time to have some sort of ritual so everyone can pay last respects. That’s where we come in. Letting people know that whatever they choose can be accommodated can be a source of great comfort, and can help the bereaved in their grieving process.

Changes to Lifestyle Mean Changes to Funerals

Non-burial clients used to be thought of as frugal, but it is important to remember that there are many personal reasons that a person may choose not to be buried.

Younger families may be required to relocate for any number of reasons, and are more likely to choose cremation so they can have a keepsake of their loved one throughout their transience.

Additionally, when individuals are able to discuss their final wishes during life, they may express strong personal preference leaning toward the non-traditional. It’s increasingly common for people to prefer cremation as religious hesitations are less of a factor than they’ve been in the past.

Cremation urns and jewelry are two of many ways that people want to remember and be remembered. Eturnal Memorials manufacture 3D-printed urns that are fine examples of tender-hearted and incredibly personal burial alternatives. Today’s 3D-printing technology can render just about anything onto an urn that can house cremains. Clients are only limited by their imaginations.

Do some research and find out what gaps you might have in your service offering.

We’re always happy to talk through our latest offerings to make sure you’ve got everything required to satisfy your families. The more personalization you can offer, the more likely your families will choose your firm for all of their needs.

A funeral director that can roll with the punches and keep up with the modern demands of today’s clients is going to be successful while bringing comfort and peace-of-mind to grieving families.

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