Not so long ago we wrote an article on a somewhat new phenomena of the cremation generation. I refer to the 1960’s to about the year 2000 as the Golden Age of Funeral Service and have coined the term “Cremation Generation” for the time period beginning in 2000 up to the present time. The new phenomena of the cremation generation was that there is a growing trend to take an urn or remains with us to our home instead of burying the urn in a cemetery, scattering the remains, or placing the urn in a columbarium or niche for eternity. It has been explained that part of the reason for holding on to the urn is that loved ones just don’t know what type of final memorialization for the remains it is that they want. This issue has led to another issue of what to do with the remains of that urn when its caretaker passes away or just forgets about the urn someday.
An article in the TDT News from Texas explains that Rachel Dwyer, general manager of the Heritage Funeral Home and Killeen Funeral Home has came up with a great solution. Dwyer has created the Central Texas New Heritage Cremation Project that is to take place on November 18 at the Reflections Mausoleum of the Killeen Memorial Park.
The Central Texas New Heritage Cremation Project will allow families to bring an urn to the cemetery to be placed in a community niche in the mausoleum. The niche will hold about 50 urns on a first- come, first-serve basis. There will be an ecumenical service prior to the placing of the urn — which are required to identify the remains inside of them. There is no cost to place an urn in the mausoleum, but families must pre-register at the companies funeral home prior to the day of the service.
Dwyer, who thought up the idea related in the article that families do like to keep cremation urns in their home but over time and generations they may lose their significance. This service and placement will offer families a respectful way to help find a permanent home for the remains. Dwyer expects the cemetery to offer the services again in the future.
Funeral Director Daily take: This is a very nice and bold gesture on the part of the Killeen Memorial Park. We have heard of memorial gardens where people are encouraged to scatter their loved one’s remains at no cost, but this is the first time we have heard of a community niche for the holding of intact urns to be donated for this purpose. It is a great solution for those who may not feel right about scattering remains.
Our hats are off to Ms. Dwyer for thinking of it. However, in all sincerity, we would feel much more comfortable if people just made the decision at the time of death to place their loved ones in a grave, crypt, or niche at that time.