Cremations predicted to overtake burials, become the norm

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The idea of being put 6 feet under may not be the norm very much longer. There are predictions that within about 10 years, more than half of us will never buy a casket.

According to the Cremation Association of North America, by the year 2025 more than half of Americans are expected to cremate their loved ones, leaving cemeteries in the dust.

Roger Stuckey said the cremation process offers the closure he needs.

"I myself would be much more at peace being cremated than being put in a hole in the ground," he explained.

That feeling is what motivated him to choose cremation when his dad, his brother and his sister all died. He didn't even consider a traditional cemetery burial.

"We own plots in Kansas City that are worth $3,000 a piece, which seems like a waste of money," he said.

Stuckey is part of a growing trend. Jeannette Ford with the Cremation Society of Kansas and Missouri said CANA research suggests that the movement is on not slowing down.

"CANA's statistics go back quite a long way, but even in the last 10 years they have seen the data come back, and the number just continues to rise," said Ford.

CANA also said that of those who will choose cremation, one-third will spread all of the ashes in a special location.

Cremations are thousands of dollars cheaper, according to Ford. She said a traditional funeral usually costs between $5,000 and$8,000, while a cremation costs approximately $1,100.

Ford said it's more convenient in our mobile society, and it's more memorable to a lot of people.

"These are more like keepsake urns," she explained as she showed different styles.

She said many are turning to smaller urns that can be divided up among the family or keepsake necklaces with ashes made into a glass design, while others will spread all of the ashes in a special place.

Still, many people will have a memorial service, but fewer people will actually go into the ground. Including Stuckey.

"Myself, I would like to have a funeral and be cremated, and I would like to have my ashes spread someplace," he said.

We did some checking to see where you can spread someone's ashes.

You are supposed to get a permit if you spread remains anywhere in a publicly-owned park or body of water.

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