For the first time ever in the United States, cremation surpassed traditional burial, according to a report obtained by Time last year.
In 2015, the cremation rate was almost at 49% compared to the 45% burial rate estimate reported by the National Funeral Directors Association.
“Cremation has become the new tradition,” says Barbara Kemmis, CANA’s executive director. “It’s a seismic shift in the profession.”
Since more people are opting to have their bodies cremated, there has also been a rise in the way in which the resulting ashes are stored. Keeping the cremated remains or "cremains" in an urn or scattering them just don't seem to cut it anymore.
Here are 14 interesting (and strange) ways that people are choosing to have their ashes handled:
1. Shine bright like a diamond
LifeGem is a company that offers its customers the option to turn cremains into a certified diamond in any cut, carat, clarity, and color you like. They will also help you create a piece of jewelry, like a ring or pendant, using the sparkler.
2. Light up the night sky
If you thought fireworks were only for the Fourth of July, New Year's Eve or weddings, then you thought wrong. Your family can celebrate your life by lighting up the sky with fireworks made from your ashes.
3. Become one with nature
You can help the environment even after you die if you choose to be buried in a biodegradable urn that can be planted to grow a tree.
4. Journey to space
Although scientists are working hard at figuring out a way for the average person to be able to live on Mars, it's very likely that this may not be possible in our lifetime. However, you can still make your dreams of going to space come true posthumously. Celestis.com offers a service that allows people to have their ashes launched into space.