When you think about funerals or cremations, you most likely picture somber, dark rooms full of grief, formality, macabre moments, and feelings of loss. Like most, you probably associate death with negative feelings and thoughts. The death positive movement, however, seeks to accept death as a natural part of life without treating it as taboo. Keep reading to find out if cremation services in Oakland, CA can be death positive.
The death positive movement is thought to have first been derived from the work of anthropologist Ernest Becker in his 1973 book “The Denial of Death.” The term “death positive” was later created by coined by author and mortician Caitlin Doughty, who was heavily influenced by Becker. The movement centers around the concept that, as death a natural part of life, we need to be comfortable with talking about, planning for, and generally accepting death. The movement’s leaders give examples including having honest discussions with loved ones and family about the process of dying, what happens to bodies after death, death rituals and traditions, options for burial, funerals, body disposition, and ceremonies to honor a person’s legacy. No matter how or what you do as part of the death positive movement, its main idea is that if we talk about and approach death from an open and honest place, we won’t be so afraid and anxious about it.
Based on this information, yes! Cremation services can be death positive! Here are more of the movement’s integral ideas and beliefs to help you decide if its right for you.
Modern generations are very uncomfortable with death and dead bodies. However, the positive death movement believes that personally taking care of a loved one’s body after death results in open and healthy grief. They also believe green or natural burial options should be available for all. Natural burials are when the body or cremated remains are buried without embalming or a shroud and in a simple pine casket or cremation urn. This does necessitate a quick process after a death, but it is most similar to how our ancestors lost and grieved. Family-centered funerals should be the norm. Instead of written in a will or discussed after a death with a funeral director, end-of-life wishes should be openly and honestly discussed with the family. This encourages positivity and normalcy around death and also helps ensure the deceased’s final wishes are carried out.
The idea that hands-on participation in the service, body preparation, and burial or cremation can be healing is another core death positivity belief. The death positivity movement also believes in the incorporation of meaningful rituals and ceremony into the activities surrounding a death. Science has shown rituals such as eulogies, readings, songs or singing, donating a body to science, or even the simple act of burial or cremains scattering offer closure, aid in grief, and lead to healthier mourning.
Call or visit us today for more information as we are happy to help if you want to learn more about the death positivity movement or have questions about Oakland, CA cremation services.