Cremation on the rise in current economy

GRAND RAPIDS -- It's a topic that many of us feel uncomfortable talking about, but death is inevitable.

With the current recession Stephen Arsulowicz of Arsulowicz Brothers Mortuary says cremation is on the rise.

"It effects the family especially if they no longer have life insurance that's available through their business or don't have the benefits available with a full time position," says Arsulowicz.

Cremation is $1,300 to $3,000. A full burial can cost $8,000 to $10,000. But that's not the only new trend.

"We have seen an increase with people that need assistance from the state," says Arsulowicz.

Arsulowicz says there is a 10 percent increase of people needing burial assistance funds from the state. The assistance only handles a fraction of the burial cost-- $455 for a full burial, and $220 for cremation.

"You have to have nothing, essentially, many people this day and age do have nothing."

A lot of people don't realize there area other burial options. It's called second right of internment. It allows you to be buried in your family members burial site for a fraction of the cost.

Michael Wawee Junior with the Catholic Diocese of Grand Rapids says it's a big savings.

"Our burial plots range anywhere from $650-$950. Second Right of Internment is $450 for a family."

As for cremation, he says even in the Catholic community it's on the rise compared to decades past.

"There were few and far between, we're talking a single digit percentile, now see 20 plus percent internment's are cremation."


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