Historians estimate that cremations have been around since the Stone Age around 3000 B.C. and was presented to Westerners by the Greeks. In ancient history, cremation was seen as an honorable way to go after battle, but it went through ups and downs in popularity. For example, cremation became frowned upon by the Catholic church due to the concept of resurrection after death but was again accepted after Pope Paul VI lifted the ban in 1963.
Cremation remains a popular choice upon death for a variety of reasons. Cremation offers more flexibility in space, price, and even mobility. Being cremated into ashes gives families an opportunity to easily personalize their loved ones final resting place by holding the ashes in multiple places or customizing an urn. Many individuals have wishes to be spread across mountains, be planted as trees, or even made into a diamond, which to some sounds more appealing than being buried. However, burial options are still available for those cremated individuals who wish to be buried with other loved ones.
Louis Cicalese, cemetery trustee in New Jersey is president of the board of the historic Harleigh Cemetery and serves as an advisor to a number of non-profit cemetery organizations in New Jersey.