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Funeral traditions are changing - rapidly. That isn’t to say that old traditions don’t still have a place - they do, and a very important one. For this article, though, we won’t be focused on funeral traditions that have existed for centuries. We’ll instead take a look at some new funeral traditions, and how you can create your own.
Cremation is growing ever more popular as an alternative to burial. There are a lot of different rituals and ceremonies that have cropped up around cremation, from scattering to creating jewellery from ashes. You might decide to create a tradition in which members of your family who are cremated all have some or all of their ashes scattered at your family homestead, or at a place that’s meaningful to your family - ancestral lands, parks you love, whatever feels right.
Another ever growing way of memorializing loved ones is to plant trees in their honour. Memorial forests are created to preserve the memory of the departed for generations - what lasts longer than a forest? Plaques, benches, and other adornments with the names of loved ones are placed within the forest - by having a tree planted for every departed family member, you can, over generations, create a place family members born hundreds of years in the future can enjoy.
We could continue listing off different ideas for new funeral traditions, but there are honestly so many different traditions you could develop it would be impossible to come close to listing them all. A song could be a tradition - heck, you could even make a joke a tradition. What matters is that it’s meaningful to you and your family.
On that note, traditions aren’t created in a vacuum, and it’s important that you talk to your family about what they (and you) want as a funeral or memorial tradition. These conversations can be a bit difficult to have, but having them can open your eyes to the tremendous variety of ways you and your loved ones may want to be remembered, and the incredible traditions you might be able to create.
In fact, one of the most powerful traditions you can create is to talk about death. You might do this on a yearly basis, or take a bit more time between the conversations, but normalizing talking about end-of-life careand how family members want to be remembered can give everyone involved a sense of agency they may not have had otherwise.
Another thing to keep in mind - traditions are ever-changing. You don’t have to discard old traditions - you can build upon them. They’re malleable. Keep what’s important and precious to you, and adapt it to be what you need. Should you require any resources at all when planning to discuss or create new traditions, the staff at our caring and professional funeral home in Winnipeg is here for you.