It may feel like you’re alone in your grief after a loss, but the funeral homes in Yardley, PA are far from the only ones in the world. In fact, there are tons of different funeral home trends and traditions all across the globe that can inspire us and teach us about memorialization and grief. Here are six to inspire you:
- Departed Beads from South Korea – South Koreans have started using loved one’s cremated ashes to make colorful beads that they then display in decorative dishes or glass containers. Though the beads can range in color, they are most commonly pink, blue, or black. This practice has become more popular in recent years as cemeteries are filling, and South Koreans need new ways to honor the dead.
- Sky Burials from Tibet – The ground in Tibet is much too rocky for burial, so instead Tibetans lay out their deceased as offerings to the local giant griffon vultures. Though this sounds grotesque, it is a normal part of life for Tibetans, and is a main part of their Buddhist beliefs as it is said that this practice makes it easier for the dead to move onto their next life.
- Fantasy Coffins from Ghana – In Ghana, most people believe that life continues after death, and therefore funerals should be celebratory. To embody this idea, the Ga people make fantasy coffins in unusual shapes and colors. Each coffin is one of a kind, and usually represents the deceased’s life or career in some way.
- Eternal Reefs in the US – In costal regions of the US, families are honoring the deceased in a way that also helps the environment: Eternal Reefs. This process uses cremains to make a base for new coral reefs, thereby preserving the marine environment for future generations and honoring the deceased. Families are often encouraged to personalize the reefs by adding handprints, plaques or other memorials.
- Ruriden Columbarium from Japan – Tokyo is one of the most dense urban areas in the world, making it hard for the Japanese to find places to bury their dead. The colorful and high tech Ruriden Columbarium is a solution to this problem. It features thousands of crystal Buddhas, each representing a recently deceased. The ashes are interred in the columbarium for 33 years before being moved to a communal burial site beneath the temple, allowing people to grieve in the traditional way before making space for others to do the same.
- Capsula Mundi in Italy – The Capsula Mundi is an eco-friendly burial container that uses cremains to fertilize and seed a new tree. The Latin name refers to a proverb that states, “transformations of our body between the mineral, vegetal and animal worlds: the three key elements of life on Earth.” Italians are embracing this new tradition as a way to remind everyone that death is not forever, as the death will breed new life in the form of a tree.
Every culture, country, and religion has its own funeral traditions and ideas. We can take inspiration from each of them, and hopefully make Yardley, PA funeral homes even better. To learn more, please reach out to J. Allen Hooper Funeral Chapel by visiting 41 W Trenton Ave Morrisville, PA 19067, or calling (215) 295-7725.