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Cremation rates increasing in Oregon USA and the law is relaxed on scattering ashes there too.

Here is an article from the United States making the point that the recession is pushing more people towards cremation as opposed to burial.

“There being so few jobs available and so few other alternatives, cremation has become an issue that more traditional families, where they have not considered it in the past, they are considering it now,” said Jerome Daniel, owner of Deschutes Memorial Chapel Gardens and Crematorium in Bend.

Apparently nearly 70 percent of Oregonians are choosing cremation over a traditional burial, the cost of a funeral and burial in that part of the States is about $6,000 (£4,000) + the cost of the casket, whereas a typical cremation is about a quarter of this ($1500 or £1000), again plus the cost of the casket. Mr Daniel goes on to say: “It seems a lot of people look at us as a great resource, but I’m not sure that they’re feeling like they really want us involved in the process as much as they used to.” I wonder what he means by this?

He has noticed a 16% increase in recent years, which to be fair is a sizable jump. Also the article points out the Catholic Church is becoming more accepting of it too. In fact Father Joseph Reining, vicar general of the Bend-based Diocese of Baker has even modified the funeral liturgy to take care of what [he] calls the ‘cremated remains,’ rather than the body.

Although the funeral industry in the USA is an estimated $11 billion-a-year industry, the economic crunch is forcing the funeral industry to rethink, the owner of Baird Funeral Homes, said, “We do offer a full line of pendant jewellery, bracelets, bookmarks to ‘thumbees,’ which are transferring the thumb print onto the jewellery. So cremation does have a lot of options.”. Thumbees – a new one on me, I am guess they take the finger print from the deceased?

He goes on to say “The Baby Boomers are a big factor in this – cremation really appeals to them,” Baird said. “In terms of cost and tradition, the thinking is really changing.”

The cremation process takes about three hours, and in the state of Oregon, there are no laws restricting where you are allowed to spread someone’s ashes. So there you go, if you were wondering what Oregon state law was!

The article finishes by saying “By the year 2025, it’s estimated more than half of all who die will be cremated.” I wonder where this statistic comes from or where it applies to – the States maybe? Lastly, I do love that fact that people from Oregon are called Oregonians, makes sense but I had never thought about it before.



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