At first glance, you may be tempted to consider that the act of burying a person’s remains has remained unchanged for the past 350,000 years (recent evidence shows that the oldest funeral site dates back to that period). However, the proof is circumstantial, considering that it refers to a pink axe made from carved stone discovered alongside 27 human bones at the bottom of a deep pit in Atapuerca, Spain.
Archeologists believe that the depositing of the remains within the confines of this pit was deliberate and occurred after the death of their “owners”. The carved stone axe also constitutes an indicative of early human creativity.
Despite the basic principles of burial, the act has actually undergone numerous modifications over the course of time. For instance, the utilization of embalming fluids for the beautification of cadavers was not popular before the Civil War and the authorities of Western cultures only made cremation practices legal in 1884. Let’s find out other ways you can expect a funeral to be different in the near future.
1. Caskets designed for the overweight departed
The concept of supersizing might no longer be exclusively applicable to McDonald’s meals. With one in three US citizens categorized as obese, funeral services are forced to reconsider the standard dimensions of coffins.
It is necessary to point out that over the last decade the regular width for a casket was 3 inches smaller (24 inches) than today. However, some of the deceased with larger figures cannot properly fit in the coffin even with the addition of the 3 inches. Therefore, certain funeral homes decided to offer their clients custom supersized version that go up to 52 inches in width.
One might think that cremation could represent the better solution in this case, considering that the special transportation methods, extra plot space and other expenses can add up to staggering fees. True, cremating chunkier departed may address the aforementioned concerns, but it also adds a new dimension to the problem. Fat tissue requires substantially higher temperatures to burn, so high that in several instances the ovens cause entire cremation facilities to go up in flames.
2. Eco-friendly body disposal means
The trend of choosing to be buried inside coffins crafted from bio-degradable and environmentally sound materials is really taking off in the UK. Wool, for instance, presents a plethora of other benefits as well, such as boosting the industry that was previously on its last legs and the ability to customize the dimensions and shape according to the deceased. Recycled newspapers are also an increasingly popular option in terms of casket fabrics. On a side note, the problem with the toxic embalming fluids seeping in the soil is still ignored.
3. Our digital legacy will linger on
Few people can safely say that the thought of having their browsing history made public to family and friends following a sudden death is not troublesome. The good news that you can prevent the unfortunate accident by hiring a specialized company – yes, there are several out there – to handle your online presence after your passing, according to your wishes. At the same time, another recent trend implies affixing your tombstone with Bluetooth access to your social network accounts – powered by solar panels – therefore allowing visitors to connect to it and read all the nice things you’ve done throughout your life.
4. Your funeral could be streamed online
The internet has provided us with the means to stay in contact with friends and family from halfway across the globe. Isn’t it convenient to be able to talk to people in other countries without regularly spending half your salary on plane tickets? And wouldn’t you want them to be present at your funeral, if only in spirit? Then online streaming services could represent the answer. Working with a funeral home that counts this option in the service package ensures that everyone you’ve known has the option to view your funeral stream, even though you live several thousand miles away.
5. Being buried with your trusted smartphone by your side
Considering that nowadays people can’t put down their smartphones for even a second and most irritating, during face to face conversations, it’s understandable why some feel the emptiness of the grave just wouldn’t be the same without their trusty gadgets. Powered by large accumulators that ensure years of faithful service or by solar panels, smartphones are quickly becoming a mandatory part of funeral paraphernalia throughout the world. However, it’s unadvisable to employ this practice if the body of the departed is being cremated, because mixing electronics and scorching flames always results in explosions.