In addition to its other responsibilities the Coroner’s Office issues all cremation permits for those done within the County. It seemed recently that we were seeing an increased number of requests for those permits, so we looked back at what the trend has been. Indeed, (comparable to Cremation Association of North America’s national and Illinois data) Lake County has seen increasing numbers of individuals being cremated after their death.
Cremation “reduces” the body of the deceased individual through the use of heat. The cremains are then placed in a permanent urn or temporary container, the latter for those individuals who choose to have their cremains scattered. Most cremated individuals are buried or are placed in a columbarium, a building with individual niches or family units for memorial storage of remains.
There are likely many reasons for the growth in the number of individuals being cremated. In many cases it can have a lower cost for the family, as well as meeting an individual’s environmental concerns and/or desire for simplicity in after-death arrangements. It is something I would choose for myself after my death (which of course, will not occur for many years).
There are some who object to cremation on a personal basis and some on the basis of their religious beliefs, e.g. Orthodox Jewish, Islamic, Eastern Orthodox, and some Fundamentalist Christian faiths. Nonetheless, it is a choice individuals and their families are making in increasing numbers (nationally over 25%) and it appears that will continue into the future.