New photos from the Associated Press show how overcrowded cemeteries are the world over. From Mexico City to Singapore, cemeteries with tightly packed graves, diminishing space for memorials, and hundreds of visitors are fast becoming the norm. North America isn’t exempt from the list. The Washington Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York, which holds deceased bodies dating back to the 1800’s and is nearly filled to capacity, is depicted in the AP’s photo series. The iconic cemeteries of New Orleans are featured in the story as well.
The AP photos, many of which were taken in large urban environments, show the scale of land required to accommodate all of the graves. Aerial views of the cemeteries at first appear to show houses, but closer inspection reveals that what look like rows of houses are actually rows of graves – vast cities of the dead. In AP fashion, the pictures are stunning in their depiction of forlorn graves, mourners, and gravediggers that reflect the interplay of life and death.
The pictures also highlight the dwindling land space available for new burials around the globe, a problem that is expected to worsen. Cemetery projects are underway to ameliorate the problem, including the proposed “Cemetery Towers” in Paris and Mumbai and “Tower of the Dead” in Mexico City, the latter of which will be an 820-foot deep subterranean complex. Currently, Mexican law forces families in its capital city to exhume and remove their loved one’s remains after a set period of years to make room for newly deceased individuals.
Cremation: A Green Burial Alternative
Is it inconceivable that one day Jacksonville, Florida might force you to exhume your loved one’s remains? Perhaps not, but there’s a better way. Burial was and still is chosen for a number of reasons, including the notion that an individual would always have a place to call their own, even in death. However, as the world has become more globalized and people are constantly on the move, many find people it less important to reserve a burial plot in their hometowns. This trend has contributed to the increase of cremations around the world.
Another trend leading people away from burials and toward cremation are environmental concerns. As more land than ever is being turned into expansive cemeteries, cremation has become the preferred method of disposition for conscientious families. A simple method of disposition that reduces the body to ash and bone, cremation allows people to forgo caskets, burial plots, and other accouterments in favor of a more natural return to the earth.
Want to plan a green cremation in Jacksonville? Neptune Society helps Jacksonville residents arrange a simple cremation service and offers information about disposing of remains in a natural way. Let us help you plan your green cremation today.