Cremation is still a relatively new concept in Kenya, but more and more people are warming up to it. The late Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore and Nobel Laureate Wangari Maathai are just a few of the notable Kenyan personalities who chose to be cremated. But why pick cremation when they could have gone the traditional way – burial? Here are the top reasons why people are now opting for cremation.
Cremation is up to 40-50% cheaper than conventional burial. There is no need for fancy caskets, equally fancy send-off clothes, headstones, exorbitant burial ground sites, pallbearers, transporting the body home, food for the mourners, morgue charges for extended stays, tents, and all that. Planning an elaborate burial takes a toll on the family, both psychologically and financially, making cremation a better option. Moreso, cremation happens soon after passing on, thus saving on mortuary costs.
People who opt for cremation are drawn by the simplicity of it all. Sometimes elaborate burial plans overshadow the fact that the life of a person is being celebrated. It is easy to lose the essence of a send-off when it is shrouded with the logistics of the burial. The simplicity also gives those who have been left behind a much easier time.
The land issue
Land is of great importance to the avaerage Kenyan citizen. However, the ownership of land is not guaranteed, and ownership changes every now and again. If you are buried in a piece of land you own, then need arises for the land to be sold, what happens then? This is especially true for those who are not buried in cemetries. Exhumation is a stressful and taboo practise in most Kenyan communities too, eitherway you strain your family.
One of the things that make death painful, is the thought that you leave your loved one in the ground, alone. After cremation, the ashes of your loved one are placed in an urn, which you can carry anywhere. You can rest in the knowledge that somehow, they are there with you.
Elaborate memorial service
Most burial services are often planned hastefully – what with the morgue charges mounting and the body needing to be preserved. Cremation takes care of this. Once it has been done, you can take as much time as you want to organize a memorial service for the loved one. Even people who would not have made it to the burial ceremony which often happens within two weeks, can make it to the memorial service and give it more meaning.
Even with all these resons, the final word belongs to the individual. If one prefers to be buried, let it be so. If they opt for creamation for the above or their own reasons, that wish also ought to be granted.