More people choose cremation over burial, almost double in 10 years

The Kent county medical examiner says the number of cremations has doubled since 2006.

GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. - According to the Kent County Medical Examiner's report, the number of cremations is up significantly over the past 10 years.

The number is almost double what it was in 2006.

"More people are choosing it as opposed to burial," says Lee Karelse, Funeral Director at Heritage Life Story Funeral Home in Grand Rapids. He says there are several reasons why people are choosing cremate their loved one's remains.

One is demographics.

“People are no longer tied to a community. Most of my friends aren’t in the community anymore, and so those ties to a certain area are no longer there," Karelse said.

The other is money.

"If someone is buried instead of cremated, the services you choose before and after are the same, but what it does save is the price of a casket, you don't need a burial vault, you don't need the plot," Karelse said.

Religion and culture also play a role.

"I think it's just gained more acceptance," he said. "There are faiths that now say they accept cremation as a disposition.  That was huge."

At Heritage Funeral Home, Karelse says they don't have an opinion either way on the options. They suggest doing whatever works best for your family.

(© 2016 WZZM)


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