Living & Lifestyle

Tuesday, 09 August 2011

At the end of the day

Should you go green? Will everyone wear pink? Would you like to live on as part of a coral reef, or will space be your final frontier? It seems that society today is keener than ever to make a difference.
Field of daisies

The right ceremony for you

The past 10 or so years have seen something of a sea change in how we view the mortality of both ourselves and our family and friends. This in turn has affected how we deal with our own and their inevitable passing.

For many people, religious, cultural and traditional beliefs still play a major part in the rituals that surround death, an increasing number of us now see celebrating the lives of our loved ones to be just as important as the grieving process. Ceremonies conducted along these lines may be less formal, and often incorporate positive and uplifting notes, such as requests for everyone to dress up in bright colours, listening to the deceased’s taste in music or jokes, or even visiting his or her favourite lifetime haunts.

Help the environment

Concerns for the environment are also having a significant effect on end-of-life planning. Cremation is the choice for around 72 per cent of the UK population, compared to around
35 per cent back in the early 1960s. However, while this process may have generated innovative ideas for disposal of ashes, its polluting effects have encouraged people to consider more natural options, too. Unlike traditional burials that take place in churchyards or cemeteries, green burials are held on specialist sites, which are often indistinguishable to surrounding woodland or meadows. They involve a strict ban on toxic embalming fluids, require the use of biodegradable coffins or shrouds and allow only trees or plants as markers.

Alternatively, why not help marine conservation by mixing cremated remains with concrete to create an artificial coral reef? This is then placed on the ocean bed, where it helps to restore existing reefs, as well as maintain and nurture the marine environment.

How RIAS can help

It’s always good to plan ahead – and making arrangements for these end-of life plans now makes very good financial sense.

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