Like so much in human experience, time brings change. The rock band Journey may have phrased it most succinctly when they sang, “The wheel in the sky keeps on turning.”
Instead of “turning” perhaps Journey should have used the lyrical “churning.” Society inexorably churns over time. Technology grows and evolves; demographics are reshaped; values, beliefs and philosophies take on revised meanings and new organizational structures come (Hello, Amazon!) and old ones go (Goodbye, Sears!).
Accompanying this churn is the modification of human behavior – defined by those who study such things as social change. Social change, they say, takes place when significant numbers of people do and think about things differently than their immediate forefathers – like, for instance, the rituals associated with funerals.
Traditional funerals often involve calling hours at the funeral home followed by a Christian service, a trip to the cemetery and a ground burial. More recently, however, Baby Boomers and those other alphabetical generations that demographers so diligently study (Gen X; Millennials; Gen Z), are moving in a different direction, one that often begins with cremation and ends with either a memorial service or a “celebration of life.” This is the embodiment of social change.
Arlington is responding to this shift by, first, acknowledging the shift. The irrefutable proof is in the numbers as people all across the country are selecting cremation more than 53% of the time and in Ohio the rate of growth will continue to climb for the foreseeable future. And, cremation is often accompanied by people choosing non-traditional services like celebrations of life. That’s why we’re responding with our Celebration of Life Campus, a complex consisting initially of two buildings. Uniquely situated on undeveloped land, this campus will be unlike any other funeral home venue in the area, not just physically, but also in its focus to provide personalized services that speak to and reflect the uniqueness of the life of the deceased.
The new campus is expected to be completed at the end of this year. For more information on the progress of Arlington’s Funeral Home and the Celebration of Life Campus, go to our website at amgardens.org or see our Facebook page.