There is a sense of peace that comes from knowing what is to come in the future. That’s especially true when it comes to knowing what will happen to your body after you pass away.
This is an incredibly personal choice, and everyone has their own traditions and preferences. In the past, there have been two options: burial or cremation. Today, though, more and more people are finding comfort in a third option that has unique advantages: water cremation.
What is water cremation and how do you know if it’s the right choice? Let’s take a closer look.
What is Water Cremation?
Water cremation also goes by the names alkaline hydration or aquamation. The process has long been used by scientific organizations to respectfully lay rest to donated bodies that have served their purpose.
During water cremation, the body is placed into a liquid alkaline solution inside a pressurized chamber and it’s heated. This method speeds up the natural process the body would go through over the course of decades. Before long, all the soft tissue has dissolved in the liquid and the bones are all that remain.
At this point, the funeral provider crushes the bones into a powder and returns them to the family in an urn, similar to what you would see with cremated ashes.
The Benefits of Water Cremation
While most people haven’t heard of water cremation, the process actually holds several advantages over traditional options.
The more common options of cremation and burial both have more problems with pollution than most people realize. Burning the body during a traditional cremation releases toxic gases and pollutants into the air.
Burial poses a pollution risk, too. The embalming chemicals leach into the soil over time, contaminating the soil as well as the local water supply.
By contrast, water cremation is far more eco-friendly. Especially for people who have worked hard to conserve the environment during their lives, it’s comforting to know that they will be carrying on that mission after death too.
Less Energy Required
Another way water cremation is easier on the environment is the lower energy use that it requires compared to cremation.
In a traditional cremation, the body must be heated to 1600-1800 degrees. Unsurprisingly, this requires a large amount of energy, usually energy that has come from non-renewable sources. Water cremation, on the other hand, only requires 350 degrees of heat.
Similar Choices to Ashes
One reason people choose cremation over burial is that cremation gives the family more options for how to memorialize their loved one. You receive the ashes in an urn and you can keep the urn in your home, scatter the ashes in a special place, distribute the ashes among family members, use the ashes to make keepsakes, and so on.
Water cremation offers the same advantages because after the process, you receive the powdered remains in an urn. The remains look similar to ashes but they have a smoother texture and more of an ivory color. You can use them to memorialize the one you lost in the same ways you could with ashes.
How to Know if Water Cremation is Right for You
Choosing how to memorialize your remains or your loved one’s remains is rarely an easy decision. If you’re considering water cremation, there are a few ways to make your decision simpler.
While most people don’t realize this, each state establishes laws to decide what options are and are not legal after death. Water cremation is gaining traction and at the time of this publication, it is now legal in 20 US states.
That does, however, mean there are still states where it isn’t legal. Be sure to find out what your options are in your state before you invest your time and your heart into making a decision.
The cost of water cremation varies considerably based on your area, the funeral provider, and other factors. In most cases, water cremation costs slightly more than traditional cremation but still far less than burial.
Check with your chosen funeral provider to find out the cost breakdown for your options. The goal is to find the choice that gives you the best balance between affordability and paying tribute to your memory or your loved one’s memory.
Planning a Funeral with Water Cremation
In any circumstance, water cremation is a great option to consider for memorializing you or your loved one. With answers to the essential questions of “what is water cremation” and “what advantages does water cremation offer,” you can make a decision that brings peace to you and your family.
If this is the path you choose, take the next step and review our water cremation urns.