Those who say--whether seriously or in jest--"Just cremate me and throw me out!" don't realize the burden this places on family members. Direct disposal of cremated remains without funerals or memorialization of any kind can cause serious traumatic problems for survivors.
An executive of the Forum for Death Education tells of one patient under therapy as a result of scattering the cremated remains of a loved one. She had no focal point for her grief until he suggested she obtain a niche at a local mausoleum and place some memento of the loved one within.
In day-to-day contact with bereaved families, many cemetarians have noticed signs of severe emotional stress among the survivors in instances of cremation without memorialization and without funerals.
In some cases, such problems may take the form of delayed reaction many months later and are more apt to come to the attention of the medical community or clinical psychologists than to the layman or the general public.
When the practice of cremation is accomplished with human dignity and recognition, it will: