While death may be a difficult topic to discuss, more and more people are talking about cremation than ever before. According to the National Funeral Directors Association, the rate of cremation in the United States was nearly 49 percent last year, which outpaced burials at 45 percent.
George Boom Funeral Director Jon Salberg said, "I originally came to work at George Boom in 1984."
Then, Salberg says the cremation rate in Sioux Falls was just shy of 5 percent. Last year, it was more than 45.
"People look at it as being as a little simpler than a traditional funeral service," said Salberg. "Sometimes, folks have difficulty burying a loved one and then moving far away. You're not forced to have a service right away. You can wait a week, a month, a year."
But there are just as many choices. Whether you're loved one was into fishing or riding, George Boom has an urn for them. At Mt. Pleasant Cemetary, you can bury cremated remains, buy a niche, or scatter them in their memorial garden. A service is optional with all of them.
Mt. Pleasant Board Member Henry Travers said, "A lot of people in our community simply did not have the funds for standard burials."
Cost is one of the biggest concerns. Many simply can't afford obelisks, mausoleums or even grave stones.
"If you look toward the large obelisks from many old, old Sioux Falls families, back in the day when many of them were constructed you were probably talking about $10-$15,000, today $50 to $100,000."
Salberg says a traditional burial costs around $10,000, while just a cremation costs around $2,000. But just like the traditional, it can jump in price, depending on where your niche is.
"It's almost like an apartment complex, where the pent house is more expensive than the ground floor," said Travers.
Salberg says while more people are choosing cremation, most still bury the remains, so there's a place to go to celebrate them.
Salberg says the cremation rate is typically a little higher in Sioux Falls than the rest of the state. There is a permit process that you have to go through with the state to scatter any remains.