For years, I’ve heard funeral directors lament the coming wave of cremation.  “It’ll ruin our bottom line!” they moan.

But that’s just the hardline “forever burial” view of some funeral professionals.  When the public thinks about cremation, they certainly aren’t thinking about your profit margin.  In fact, they wouldn’t even know that cremation is something you don’t embrace unless you told them.

Interior of cremation chamber

 Why then, do so few funeral directors ever talk about cremation in a positive way?

You should follow the lead of the funeral home cited on ABC News 13’s website in an October 21st article titled More People Choosing Cremation Over Burial in Western N.C.:

For funeral homes across the region, the trend toward more cremations has also presented a chance to expand services. In January 2006, Anders-Rice Funeral Home moved a 26,000-pound brick-lined crematorium into its building.

Cremation is presented as an opportunity for the funeral home, not an unpleasant process done by direct disposers.

By mentioning that a funeral home has expanded services to include cremation, the news story tells it’s readers that the funeral home respects the choice for cremation.

Cremated remains

 It’s not a lot – just a small news story on a website.  But it has wider implications.  It means that, unlike price-driven “consumer reporting” or exposés, positive stories about funeral homes and cremation are possible.

My philosophy?  If a family chooses cremation and you’ve done everything you can to distance yourself from cremation (because it’s cheap, or because you’re trying to hold on to only burial calls), how can you get mad when they choose a direct disposer?

And once that first person in the family has chosen a low-cost, direct cremation with a family-led memorial service, the rest can fall like dominoes, since the familial prohibitions have been lifted.

How long before that family that you turned away out of spite has transformed from a “we’re all going to be buried in the family plot” clan into a “we’ve always had our loved one’s cremated and scattered in the lake” kinda group?